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Cancer genetic counseling

Cancer genetic counselors help people understand and adapt to inherited risk for cancer. VCU Massey Cancer Center offers genetic counseling by licensed genetic counselors, certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling The counselors help people both with and without cancer to develop a cancer prevention and/or treatment plan for them and their families. Services may include a full range of testing for inherited (genetic) mutations for all types of cancers, as well as access to clinical trials. Our cancer genetic counselors serve as part of a multidisciplinary cancer care team.

Our services include:

  • Review and consultation by a team of board-certified genetic counselors and clinical geneticists
  • Diagnosis of inherited (genetic) cancer conditions
  • Cancer risk assessment
  • Tailored cancer prevention, screening, and/or treatment recommendations
  • Information for other family members
  • Consent and laboratory testing for inherited (genetic) cancer mutations
  • Information about research programs and/or clinical trials
  • Referrals to other specialists for tailored care

When are genetic services needed?

Below is a general checklist to see if cancer genetic counseling could help you and your family. Having something on this list does not necessarily mean that you have a hereditary cancer condition; always talk with your doctor or genetic counselor for a hereditary cancer diagnosis.

Family history checklist:

___ Many relatives with the same types of cancer
___ A family member with a rare cancer
___ Cancer happening at earlier ages than usual for the type of cancer
___ A family member with two different types of cancer (not one cancer that spreads)

Information to collect before a genetic counseling appointment

Your genetic counselor will want to know some information about your medical history, risk factors you may have for cancer, and your family history of cancer. It is helpful to know how family members with cancer are related to you, what type of cancer they had, and how old they were when the cancer was found. Information from both mother’s and father’s side is important, if known. Please complete our pre-appointment health form before your appointment.

More information

To make an appointment, please phone (804) 828-7999. If you have questions or would like to discuss your situation, please email us at cancergenetics@vcuhealth.org.

John Quillin, Ph.D., C.G.C., (804) 628-1925
Heather Creswick, M.S., C.G.C., (804) 828-6245

Additional resources:

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