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Genetic Counseling and Testing Services

The Scully-Welsh Cancer Center offers genetic counseling and testing services for individuals who would like to learn more about their genetic risks for cancer. Knowing if you are at increased risk for certain cancers may provide opportunities for early detection, risk reduction, and targeted treatment. This knowledge can be lifesaving for you and your family members.

During a genetic counseling appointment, you will meet with a board certified genetic counselor to discuss your personal and family health history, understand genetic risks, and determine if genetic testing if right for you. If you decide to have genetic testing, the genetic counselor will explain what the results mean for you and your family and help you plan appropriate next steps.

Meeting with a genetic counselor may alleviate fears in people who find out they do not have higher cancer risks. If you have higher risks, the genetic counselor will help you make important decisions which may reduce your risk and cancer’s impact on your life.

To contact the genetic counselor, please call (772) 226-4907 or email joy.kechik@irmc.cc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cancer Genetic Counseling?

Cancer genetic counseling is a process to help you and your family members understand genetic risks for cancer, determine if genetic testing is right for you, and explore what genetic results might mean.

What is a Cancer Genetic Counselor?

A cancer genetic counselor is a healthcare provider with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling. Cancer genetic counselors are there to listen, answer questions, provide guidance, and help you and your family cope with genetic risks for cancer.

Who Should See a Cancer Genetic Counselor?

If you have a personal and/or family history suggestive of hereditary cancer, you might benefit from meeting with a cancer genetic counselor. The genetic counselor will look at your history for signs of hereditary cancer. Some signs include:

  • Multiple cancers in you or your close family members
  • Young cancers (diagnosed under age 50)
  • Rare cancers (e.g. male breast cancer, paraganglioma)
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

What Happens During a Cancer Genetic Counseling Appointment?

A cancer genetic counselor will ask about your personal and family health history, discuss genetic risks and testing options, and offer emotional support and guidance. The conversation will be informational and thoughtful. Appointments often last 30 minutes to an hour (sometimes longer).

What Can Genetic Testing Tell You and How Can It Help?

Genetic testing may be able to determine if you carry a genetic change that increases your chance to develop certain cancers. Even if a change is found, it does not mean for certain that you will develop cancer.

The results of genetic testing can be life-saving information for you and your family members. If you have a higher chance to develop cancer, your doctor may offer you certain early detection and prevention options. If you already have cancer, the results of genetic testing may be used to make treatment decisions. Family members can also have genetic testing to see if they are at higher risk.

If the results of genetic testing show you do not have increased cancer risks, this may give reassurance, provide relief, and alleviate fears.

How Much Does Genetic Counseling or Genetic Testing Cost?

There is no cost for the genetic counseling appointment. If you decide to have genetic testing, your health insurance may cover all or part of the cost. If insurance does not cover genetic testing, the cost is about $250.

To contact the genetic counselor, call (772) 226-4907 or email joy.kechik@irmc.cc.