The Cancer Genetics Program

What is the Cancer Genetics Program?

genetic counselor smilingThe Cancer Genetics Program provides genetic counseling and testing to people with a personal and/or family history of cancer. Although most cancers occur by chance, about 5-10% of cancer cases are hereditary, meaning they run in the family. Cancer genetic counseling takes information about a person’s personal and family history of cancer to determine if genetic testing would be recommended. At a cancer genetic counseling appointment, a person can learn more about genetic testing, cancer screening and possible prevention, early detection, and possible treatment options.

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Genetic Counseling  Genetic Testing

Speaking with a genetic counselor to provide you with choices, options, and counseling regarding your cancer risk.

Looking at a person's genetic material (DNA) for changes associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

What to expect at your genetics appointment

Cancer genetic counseling typically involves 1-2 visits, lasting 60-90 minutes each. At your first appointment, a detailed family and medical history is obtained and genetic testing is discussed. If testing is performed, the results are shared with you and a follow-up visit is scheduled as needed. The results are used to develop a management plan which is shared with your doctors. Not everyone needs to have cancer genetic testing- we can help you decide if genetic testing is right for you.

Are you a good candidate for cancer genetic counseling?

cancer genetic counselingCancer genetic counseling is helpful if you have anxiety or concern about your risk of developing cancer. The Cancer Genetics Program is helpful if you have:

  • A personal history of cancer
  • One or more relatives who developed cancer before age 50
  • Several relatives with cancer including cancers of the breast, ovary, skin, colon, prostate, thyroid, uterus, and others
  • A relative who has had more than one cancer
  • A family history of a less common cancer, such as male breast cancer

What is genetic testing for cancer?

Genetic testing involves looking at your genetic material (DNA) for changes associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. This testing may reveal whether the cancer risk in your family is inherited, or passed through your genes. The procedure requires a small blood sample.

Is genetic counseling and testing covered by insurance?

Many insurance companies cover these services, but we can assist you in determining if your insurance company provides genetic counseling and testing as covered benefits. You can also call your insurance company directly for more information on benefits of coverage.

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Colleen's Corner: Local and National Resources

Online Resources

  • American Cancer Society
  • FORCE- Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
    • A comprehensive website for individuals and families affected by hereditary cancers
  • National Society of Genetic Counselors

Learn More About Our Resources


For more information or to make an appointment at either of the locations below, call (313) 916-3188.

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Call us at (888) 777-4167

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