Very broadly, people are referred because their personal and/or family history of cancer may be due to a specific genetic change. This change may be causing them, and relatives, to be at an increased risk to develop certain types of cancer in their lifetime. A genetic counselor will talk to them about their family history and genetic testing in hopes of providing:
Having genetic counseling does NOT automatically commit them to genetic testing. Our discussion is meant to provide them the information and context they need to make an informed decision about if they want to proceed with genetic testing.
Learn more about genetic testing:
The appointment lasts about one hour. In the first 20-30 minutes, the genetic counselor will collect your family history and draw out a family tree. The last half will involve a discussion about the risks and benefits of genetic testing. Having the appointment does NOT automatically commit them to genetic testing. Our discussion is meant to provide them patient the information and context they need to make an informed decision about if they want to proceed with genetic testing.
If testing is desired after, sample can be collected using a blood draw or saliva sample.
Pancreatic and ovarian
Rare types of cancer
About an hour, plus an extra 20-30 mins to get blood drawn if testing is desired.
We have a combination of counselors who have completed their masters in genetic counseling and also MDs who have a specific interest in hereditary cancer syndromes.
After the appointment, if the patient wants to do testing, we will give them a special genetic testing kit and send them up to the lab on the 6th floor of the Buck Pavillion to get their blood drawn. No fasting required and no concerns about it interfering with vaccines/drugs they're taking. The only concern would be if they had a blood transfusion recently. If patient says they had a blood transfusion, they will need to wait 28 days from the transfusion to get tested. We can also do a saliva test if they prefer. Both blood and saliva are equally accurate, but saliva samples need to be submitted very carefully—no eating or drinking (including water) for an hour before collecting the sample.
It takes three weeks from when the sample (blood or saliva) is submitted to get results.
The cost is split into two parts:
There is a small possibility that the genetic testing results could provide information that informs your treatment options. If patients have further questions about this, please refer to genetic counselors for discussion.
To schedule an appointment, please call 206-223-2319.