Genetic counseling

If you have a personal history of cancer or if cancer runs in your family, consider taking an important and potentially lifesaving step — genetic counseling.

What is genetic counseling?

Genetic counseling can help you identify possible genetic mutations in your family history to see if you or your family are at risk of developing certain disorders or diseases, such as cancer.

What can I expect during a genetic counseling session?

Our genetic counselors will:

  • Review your detailed personal and family history to assess the risk of hereditary cancer
  • Explain the benefits, limitations and cost of testing, including privacy, confidentiality and discrimination concerns
  • Explore the medical, psychological and social impacts of cancer risk and genetic testing
  • Review management and screening guidelines as recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) or other nationally recognized organizations.
  • Interpret genetic test results based on your personal and family history
  • Discuss the importance of genetic test results with you and your family

Should I consider genetic testing?

Only 5-10% of cancers are inherited and most patients who seek genetic counseling have either a personal or family history of cancer. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment.

Have you or a close relative been diagnosed with:

  • Cancer before age 50
  • Bilateral cancer (such as breast cancer on both sides)
  • Ovarian, pancreatic or metastatic prostate cancer at any age
  • Two or more lifetime cancer diagnoses
  • 10 or more colon polyps before age 50
  • A pattern of the same type of cancer on one side of the family
  • Rare cancers, such as male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer or adrenal cancer
  • A known genetic mutation in a relative

If you have or are at risk of cancer, the team at HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network will develop a targeted treatment or screening plan based off your genetic testing results and personal medical history. If necessary, you also have the opportunity to connect with clinical trials targeted to your results.

How much does genetic counseling cost? Will my insurance cover it?

Our team will run a benefits investigation and determine your estimated cost to see a genetic counselor.

Personal and family history of cancer, as well as age of diagnosis, can determine a patient’s eligibility for genetic testing coverage. Most insurance companies cover a significant portion or all genetic testing costs.

Financial assistance may be available.

How do I make an appointment?

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 623-434-6138.

Please note: A referral from your doctor is not required to schedule an appointment.