Cancer Genetic Counseling Services

Experts at the Cancer Genetics Program at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center provide risk assessments and evaluations to people who might be at increased risk of cancer due to an inherited or genetic predisposition. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colorectal cancer are some of the cancers that can be caused by a genetic mutation, which is a change to the DNA that is passed on from parent to child.

Having a genetic mutation can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, but not everyone with a mutation develops cancer. Knowing your risk can help you make decisions about your health.

Candidates for Genetic Screening

Most cancers are not inherited, but some are, and working with a genetic counselor can help you understand your cancer risk. Most people seeking genetic cancer screening have either a personal or family history of cancer.

You might consider genetic screening if:

  • you or a close relative, such as a child, sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent, were diagnosed with cancer before age 50.
  • you or a close relative were diagnosed with more than one type of cancer, for example, breast and ovarian cancer.
  • two or more close relatives has been diagnosed with the same kind of cancer.
  • you or a close relative has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • you or a close relative has been diagnosed with cancer in a pair of organs or bilateral cancer, for example cancer in both breasts or both eyes.
  • you or a close relative has been diagnosed with a rare cancer, such as male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, or sarcoma.
  • you or a close relative learned through previous genetic screening that you have an inherited a gene mutation that increases cancer risk.

Genetic Screening Process

When you make an appointment with our team, you meet with a genetic counselor, who is a health professional with advanced training in medical genetics and counseling. The genetic counselor reviews your medical history, asks about your family medical history, and reviews with you the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing.

Genetic testing involves providing a blood or saliva sample, which is sent to a genetics laboratory. If the test comes back positive for a genetic mutation, you meet with a genetic counselor who explains the results and discusses your options. If you are identified as being at risk, we discuss ways to reduce your chance of developing cancer, such as having more frequent screenings and, in some cases, having surgery to prevent cancer from forming.

Make an Appointment

Genetic counseling services at the Perlmutter Cancer Center are available to patients of NYU Langone doctors with a personal or family history of cancer, as well as those who have a known genetic mutation.

Genetic counseling services are available at the Laura Perlmutter Center for Women’s Imaging, Perlmutter Cancer Center, and NYU Langone’s Ambulatory Care Center.

To make an appointment with one of our genetic counselors, please call 646-754-1376.