Expert genetic counseling and testing
Vanessa Marcell, Manager, Cancer Genetic Counseling
While most breast cancer is sporadic, about 5 to 10% of the population gets cancer because of an inherited gene mutation, such as one in the genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Our certified genetic counselor assesses cancer risk in people who already have a cancer diagnosis or those who have a strong family history of the disease. In many breast centers, genetic counseling is a part-time function, but for our counselor, it is her full-time expertise.
If it’s appropriate for you to be tested, our genetic counselor will walk you through the process. Before your first appointment (which should take about 1 ½ hours) research your family history, at least three generations back, for any blood relative who had cancer. Knowing who in your family tree had cancer, what type it was, how old they were when they were diagnosed and other information will allow for a more accurate assessment of your risk, if there is one. Our genetic counselor will help determine if your insurance will cover testing (most plans do), coordinate all testing, and discuss the results with you.
If you have questions about genetic counseling and testing, please contact Vanessa Marcell at 845.357.7462.