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Hereditary cancer genetic counseling

Helping you find answers

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with cancer, genetic counseling can help you better understand genetic issues that could impact you and your family members’ chances of developing cancer.  Click below to explore more about our services.

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  • Reasons for hereditary cancer genetic counseling

    A healthcare provider may recommend hereditary cancer genetic counseling for a wide range of reasons, including but not limited to, a personal or family history of:

    • Breast cancer at age 50 or younger or multiple breast cancer diagnoses in the same person
    • Breast or pancreatic cancer with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
    • Colorectal or uterine cancer at age 50 or younger
    • Ovarian cancer at any age
    • Male breast cancer at any age
    • A combination of breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers in the same person or on the same side of the family
    • A previously identified hereditary cancer mutation
    • Abnormal tumor marker results suggestive of a hereditary cancer syndrome
  • What happens in a hereditary cancer genetic counseling session?

    Labcorp offers comprehensive genetic counseling sessions to discuss hereditary cancer. These sessions typically last 60 to 90 minutes. The information discussed will vary from person to person, but generally the following is included: 

    • A review of your medical history and relevant medical records for information suggestive of a hereditary cancer condition
    • A three-generation family tree is drawn to evaluate your family history for any genetic risk factors related to cancer
    • A review of any available relevant genetic testing results
    • Completion of a cancer genetic risk assessment by the genetic counselor based on the information provided
    • Discussion of appropriate genetic testing options
    • An opportunity to ask questions about your genetic risks and the benefits and limitations of testing
    • A summary report of your risks and testing decision(s), which will be made available to you and your health care provider

    Comprehensive genetic counseling is most often available as a virtual appointment. This involves interacting with the genetic counselor by video.

  • What tests might be discussed?
    • Testing for a single hereditary cancer syndrome
    • Hereditary cancer panels that examine multiple genes related to various types of hereditary cancers
    • Targeted testing for a known mutation already identified in the family
  • How is this billed?
    • Comprehensive genetic counseling is billed separately from a standard visit to your doctor.
    • Your health insurance information will be collected and a claim will be sent to your insurance company after the counseling session. Genetic counseling is often a covered service, however you will be responsible for any charges that your insurance company does not cover, which may include a co-pay or deductible.
  • Planning for your session
    • Gather medical history information about your family members, including parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.
    • Ask family members about any history of cancer, age at initial diagnosis, tumor testing results, exact type of cancer, cancer treatment, and any cancer genetic testing results (positive and negative).  
    • Gather records of any cancer genetic testing you or your family members may have had in the past, even if testing was negative.
    • Check with your insurance company about coverage.

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