Genetic Risk Assessment Program
Our free risk assessment helps patients, families and community residents learn about their level of genetic risk for developing breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and/or uterine (endometrial) cancer. This risk arises from changes to certain genes inherited from blood relatives.
You may be concerned about your own, or your family members’, risks. Some of the same genes pose cancer risks to both women and men. For those shown to be at high risk due to inherited factors, our program’s nurse genetic counselor and physician may recommend genetic testing.
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, consider having a cancer risk assessment:
- Do you or any of your blood relatives have a history of colorectal cancer, breast cancer or uterine cancer diagnosed before age 50 (on either your mother's or father's side)?
- Are you or any family member of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry?
- Were you or any blood relatives diagnosed at any age with ovarian cancer (on either your mother's or father's side)?
- Have you or a blood relative had more than one uterine, ovarian, colon or breast cancer?
What happens in the program?
The nurse genetic counselor reviews your family history and personal health history. You receive a risk assessment, education and information about genetic testing. Counseling is a vital part, with concerns addressed during the risk assessment. Should genetic testing be recommended, the nurse will provide further counseling to discuss medical, social, psychological and other issues.
What does genetic testing look for?
Some genes normally play a major role in preventing breast, colon, ovarian or uterine cancer. However, if you inherited a mistake (or mutation) on a gene from your mother or father, you are more at risk for developing cancer. Genetic testing looks for these mistakes.
What happens if a gene mutation is found?
The nurse and physician will provide counseling to help you make informed choices. The options for people who test positive may include increased surveillance, using medicines to reduce your risk of getting a cancer or preventive surgery. The options that you choose are very personal. You will receive current information to help you make a decision.
Is there a fee?
There is no charge for the risk assessment and counseling. No doctor referral is needed. The nurse genetic counselor can help with the insurance process for genetic testing.
Should those who already had colorectal, ovarian, uterine or breast cancer be tested?
Yes. Finding out whether you test positive or negative may be helpful to you and your family. Having an altered gene may put you at increased risk for developing a second cancer, of the same type or one that is affected by the same gene.
To find out more:
Call 215-481-2715 to speak with the nurse genetic counselor.