Medical Services

Genetics

High-Risk Cancer Genetics Program

Although approximately 70% of cancers develop by chance, some individuals have a genetic pre-disposition to developing the disease either because of an inherited abnormal gene (hereditary cancer) or a combination of genetic and environmental factors specific to their family (familial cancer)

If you or a loved one has a family history of cancer, Memorial Cancer Institute’s High-Risk Cancer Genetics Program can help shed light on your cancer risk so you can make informed decisions about your health and focus on cancer prevention.

Our comprehensive program identifies and manages individuals with genetic predispositions to developing cancer, including those with an increased risk of acquiring the disease due to ancestry, family history or personal risk factors (such as atypia or carcinoma in situ).

A Specialized, Dedicated Team of Experts

By employing a multidisciplinary approach that includes cancer genetics specialists, oncologists, as well as primary care physicians, our team works closely with each patient and their family to develop a personalized care plan. Team members include:

  • Board-certified oncologists
  • Cancer risk assessment counselor
  • Integrative medicine specialists
  • Oncology social workers
  • Registered dieticians

Together, our highly qualified specialists are committed to identifying individuals who are at a higher-than-average risk of developing cancer and to offer counseling and risk-reduction strategies for cancer prevention and/or early detection. We provide a range of diagnostic and support services including:

  • Cancer Risk Assessment counseling
  • Hereditary cancer risk assessment (with a specific interest in the genetic factors that influence breast, colorectal and gynecological cancers)
  • Genetic testing
  • Access to clinical research studies (for diagnosed cancer patients

Please consult with your healthcare provider to see if our program is right for you, especially if you have a personal and/or family history of one or more of the following:

  • Cancer (breast, uterine, colon) diagnosed at an early age (less than 50)
  • Ovarian/fallopian tube cancer diagnosed at any age
  • Multiple family members with similar cancers (breast, ovarian, colon, uterine)
  • Two or more primary cancers in the same person
  • A rare cancer such as male breast cancer or sarcoma
  • Triple negative breast cancer diagnosed before age 60
  • Family history of known genetic mutation
  • Breast biopsy showing atypia, lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Multiple benign breast biopsies
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

What to Expect

Our cancer genetics team will:

  • Determine if you meet the criteria for risk assessment and/or genetic counseling
  • Assist in determining your insurance coverage for office visits and testing
  • Meet with you to conduct a personalized cancer risk assessment consultation
  • Obtain prior authorizations as required for genetic testing or additional screening as recommended
  • Review assessment results, explain findings, and together create a surveillance and/or intervention schedule
  • With your permission, share the plan with your other physicians to ensure they have all the required information to make clinical or diagnostic suggestions
  • With your permission, possibly present your genetic profile (not your identity) to a national group of genetic experts (Genetic Tumor Board) to determine if they have additional insight or expertise to offer. If so, this will be shared with you and your physician team accordingly.