Genetic Counseling in Carthage & Brighton, NY
Although we proactively screen our patients for hereditary breast cancer risk at EWBC, our genetic counselor is available to meet with patients at risk for any hereditary cancer syndrome.
Over the past several years, advances in the field of cancer genetics have given patients the opportunity to determine their predisposition to certain cancers, including breast cancer, to help initiate proper medical management. Although multiple risk factors for breast cancer are known, personal and family history of cancer are key elements impacting cancer risk.
The goal of our Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling Program is the early detection and/or prevention of breast and other cancers. Any patient with a personal or family history of cancer meeting NCCN guidelines or a 5% risk or greater of a mutation is eligible for genetic counseling and possible testing.
Please note: If you previously have tested negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2, you may be a candidate for additional genetic testing. Current testing protocols include panels with dozens of cancer genes.
Genetic Counseling FAQs
Who should consider having a breast cancer risk assessment?
Personal and/or family history of cancer suggestive of a hereditary syndrome include:
- Breast cancer 45 or younger
- Premenopausal breast cancer
- Male breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with breast, ovarian, prostate, colon or pancreatic cancers
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
- Rare cancers
- Young age of diagnosis
- Relative with positive results for any hereditary cancer gene
If you have previously tested negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2, you may be a candidate for additional genetic testing. Current testing protocols include panels with more than 28 genes.
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 breast MRI
- Preventative surgery (i.e., risk-reducing mastectomy and/or oophorectomy) and/or
- Chemoprevention (drugs used to reduce cancer risk, such as Tamoxifen)
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 cancer. After performing a personalized breast cancer risk assessment, a patient’s eligibility for additional breast cancer services, including breast MRI and/or genetic testing is determined. For patients who are candidates for genetic testing, the provider will discuss risks, benefits and limitations.
Any questions regarding personal and/or family history of cancer will be answered, 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. A blood draw is then collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Results are available in approximately three weeks.
Does insurance pay for genetic testing?
Most insurance companies cover genetic testing when appropriate. Our genetic counseling staff will help review guidelines of each patient’s particular insurance provider to determine if testing will be covered. If necessary, prior authorization will be obtained. The majority of appropriate patients pay $0.