Cancer Genetics Program at Dickstein Cancer Center
While no one can predict exactly who will develop cancer, there are ways to find out who in a family may be at high risk. To start, speak to your doctor about meeting with a cancer genetics professional for a complete cancer risk assessment. This process may help you better understand your true cancer risk. Knowing your risk level will help you make the healthcare choice that is best for you. It will also tell you more about who in your family may be at risk and what actions they can take.
What is Genetic Counseling?
Cancer genetics professionals are trained to assess a person’s risk for developing cancer. They meet with you face to face, and discuss early detection and prevention of cancer. Specific genetic tests may be ordered based on your personal and/or family history of cancer. Our genetic counselor will tailor each consultation to fit your specific needs
What is Discussed During a Genetic Counseling Session?
- Your personal and family medical history
- Your individual risk and/or family’s risk of developing cancer
- Options for screening and medical management of cancer risk
- Psychological implications of cancer risk and genetic testing
- Concerns about genetic testing including issues of privacy, confidentiality and genetic discrimination
- Options for participating in research.
Does Genetic Counseling Require Genetic Testing?
No. Genetic testing may not be useful for everyone receiving genetic counseling. Deciding whether or not to have genetic testing is a personal choice that can be made at the time of the counseling session or at a future date.
Who Should Have Genetic Counseling?
Have you or a close relative:
- Been diagnosed with cancer at a young age?
- Had more than one blood relative with the same type of cancer or related cancers (breast and ovarian, colon and uterine)?
- Had more than one type of cancer?
- Been diagnosed with bilateral (both sides) cancer of paired organs (breast, ovaries, kidneys)?
- Been told you are of Ashkenazi/Eastern European Jewish descent with breast or ovarian cancer?
- Been diagnosed with an unusual cancer, such as male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, or retinoblastoma?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, genetic counseling may be useful to you.
To learn more call our genetic counselor, Nicole Boxer, at (914) 681-2873.