Cancer Genetic Counseling & Testing

When you make an appointment with our High-Risk Cancer Genetics Program team at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, you meet with a genetic counselor, a health professional with advanced training in medical genetics and counseling. The genetic counselor reviews your medical history and family medical history, and discusses the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing with you. 

Hereditary Cancer Family History Questionnaire

Do you have family history of cancer? Take our questionnaire to determine your risk and if you qualify for genetic testing.

Start Questionnaire

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor at any of our locations, please call 646-754-1376.

Most types of cancer are sporadic, but some individuals have a higher chance of developing cancer because of a hereditary, or genetic, factor. Around 10 percent of cancers are hereditary. Genetic testing can identify genetic mutations, which are changes to the DNA that affect the function of the genes in the body. Hereditary cancers are linked to genetic mutations that predispose people to cancer and can be passed down through families. 

Our Expertise

We see people with a personal or family history of cancer and specialize in genetic testing and counseling for all types of cancers, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Testing involves providing a blood or saliva sample, which is sent to a genetics laboratory. One of our genetic counselors explains the results and discusses options for managing your risk. This may include additional evaluation or referral to a hereditary cancer specialist or physician. 

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or any of our Long Island locations, including Lake Success, NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, or Huntington, call 646-754-1376.

Who Should Consider Genetic Testing?

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

You might consider genetic testing if you or a close relative has a history of the following:

  • early onset of cancer, which means you received a cancer diagnosis at age 50 or under
  • a diagnosis of ovarian, pancreatic, or metastatic prostate cancer at any age
  • more than one occurrence of cancer in any part of the body
  • multiple colon polyps, or 10 or more polyps diagnosed before age 50
  • multiple relatives with the same or related types of cancer on the same side of the family
  • a family history of rare types of cancer, including male breast cancer, sarcomas, adrenal cancer, and medullary thyroid cancer
  • a mutation in a known cancer predisposition gene in the blood or in a tumor

Our hereditary cancer family history questionnaire can help you identify genetic risk factors for cancer and help you manage that risk. Depending on the results of a genetic test, we can offer screening recommendations to help detect cancer at an earlier stage, when there are more treatment options. We can also help you learn about options for preventive care, including risk-reducing surgery. 

If you have received a diagnosis for cancer, a genetic test result can help your oncologist develop a customized treatment plan for you. Genetic testing can also give you opportunities to participate in research and clinical trials, and help you develop a better understanding of the cancer risk to close relatives, including children, siblings, or parents.

Payment and Insurance Coverage for Genetic Testing

There is no fee for a genetic counseling consultation with our counselors. Most insurance companies cover some or all of the cost of genetic testing. Many companies use personal or family history of cancer and age at diagnosis as criteria to determine if someone is eligible for testing. 

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) passed in 2008 protects your health coverage and employment against discrimination based on your genetic information. GINA does not cover active military insurance, life or disability insurance, or other supplemental insurance policies.