What is Genetic Counseling & Risk Assessment?

Who should consider having a breast cancer risk assessment?

Breast cancer risk assessment is beneficial if you have a personal and/or family history of cancer suggestive of hereditary breast cancer, including:
Breast cancer younger than 50 years of age (i.e. premenopausal)
Male breast cancer at any age
Ovarian cancer at any age
Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with breast, ovarian and/or pancreatic cancer
Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry 
Other rare cancers
Why consider genetic counseling and testing?
If you have a personal and/or family history of cancer, you may want to understand the implications of this history for both yourself and your family members. By learning if you have a hereditary predisposition to breast cancer, you will have the opportunity to discuss your personalized cancer risks with your health care providers to develop a customized medical management plan, which may include:

Increased breast cancer surveillance, including mammography, clinical breast examination and breast MRI Preventative surgery (i.e. risk-reducing mastectomy and/or oophorectomy) and/or
Chemoprevention (drugs used to reduce cancer risk, such as Tomoxifen)
These interventions can lead to the early detection and/or prevention of cancer.

What happens during a genetic counseling appointment?

A genetic counseling appointment takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes. During this time, our board certified genetic counselor meets with the patient and obtains a detailed personal and family history of cancer. After performing a personalized breast cancer risk assessment, she determines a patient’s eligibility for additional breast cancer services, including breast MRI and/or genetic testing. For patients who are candidates for genetic testing, the genetic counselor will discuss risks, benefits and limitations. She will also answer any questions patients have regarding their personal and/or family history of cancer so patients can decide if testing is right for them. If the patient chooses to pursue genetic testing after this discussion, informed consent is obtained.Either a blood draw or mouthwash sample is then collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Results are typically available in approximately three to four weeks. However some test results take much longer.

Does insurance pay for genetic testing?
Most insurance companies cover genetic testing. Our genetic counselor and staff will help preview guidelines of each patient's particular insurance provider to determine if testing will be covered. If necessary, prior authorization will be obtained.

To schedule an appointment
To schedule an appointment (Brighton location only), please call our genetic counseling office at (585) 758-7041. Please have your insurance information available and be prepared to discuss details regarding your personal and family history of cancer (with particular attention to specific types of cancer diagnoses and ages of onset). A staff member will being the process with a brief intake.

For Additional  Information these organizations will be helpful:
Myriad Genetic Laboratories
American Cancer Society
Be Bright  Pink
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

EWBC Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Support Group
The Genetics and Cancer Risk Assessment Office at EWBC is starting a support group for women and men affected by BRCA1 or BRCA2. 

A diagnosis of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome can be life-altering.  By creating a safe and confidential environment where your questions and concerns can be answered, we hope to benefit you and your loved ones.  It is our hope that by offering a regular, on-going time for discussion and support, we will form a community that helps each individual along their journey. There will be opportunities for both you and your loved ones to participate.
It is our intention to meet monthly at the Brighton office of EWBC beginning in the spring/summer of 2014.

For more information, please call our Genetic Counseling department at 585-758-7041. 

- See more at: http://www.ewbc.com/OurServices/CancerRiskAssessmentGeneticCounseling.aspx#sthash.OQu33ZdG.dpuf

This page is intended as an educational resource only. It is not a substitute for professional care. Please see your physician if you have any concerns about your own health.