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Genetic Counseling & Genetic Testing

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Most cancers happen by chance and are not passed down from generation to generation. However, in a small number of families cancers may be due to specific genetic factors. Identifying these genetic traits can be beneficial in terms of assessing the risk of an individual developing cancer and providing appropriate medical options to prevent cancer or reduce the risk as much as possible.

Genetic Counseling

Stacey Miller, Certified Genetic Counselor

As a certified genetic counselor Stacey Miller performs cancer risk assessments of her patients, evaluating their potential for carrying a hereditary cancer syndrome by researching their family and personal histories. She also oversees genetic tests to look for the defective genes and counsels her patients through the decision making process of what to do with the information.

Genetic Counseling and Cancer Risk Assessment

Early detection is one of the best weapons against cancer. One in three women and one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. The cancer risk assessment program at Goldschmidt Cancer Center is designed to help individuals and their families understand their risk for cancer and to take steps towards early detection and prevention of their risks. Regular screenings can help identify many cancers in their earliest stages when they can be treated successfully and often cured.

Medical research suggests five to 10 percent of cancers stem from a hereditary cancer syndrome - an abnormal gene that increases a person's risk for cancer. While that may sound small, it equals approximately 76,500 to 153,000 new cancers each year in the United States.

Does Insurance Cover Genetic Counseling?

Most insurances plans cover the cost of genetic counseling and genetic testing (if medically indicated), including Medicare and Medicaid. There are both federal and state laws that make discrimination based on a genetic mutation illegal. Health insurance cannot consider a gene mutation a pre-existing condition.

Genetic Testing

The Cancer Center at Capital Region Medical Center offers hereditary risk assessment and genetic testing for hereditary:

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer

Testing Steps

Cancer risk assessment and education consultations take approximately one hour to complete. The process includes a:

  1. Comprehensive family history review
  2. Family history risk factors
  3. Role of genetics in cancer
  4. Evaluation of cancer risk

If you have a family history of cancer or would like to learn more about genetic testing, please call 573-632-4800.

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