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, asks about your family medical history, and discusses the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing with you.

Genetic testing can identify genetic mutations, which are changes to the DNA that are passed on from parent to child. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer are two types of cancer that can be caused by a genetic mutation.

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 your cancer risks and management options. This may include additional evaluation or referral to a hereditary cancer specialist or physician.

Candidates for 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, 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.
  • you or a close relative has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
  • two or more close relatives have 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 the colon and endometrium or both breasts.
  • 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 testing that you have an inherited a gene mutation that increases cancer risk.

If you are identified as being at risk, we discuss evidence-based cancer risk reduction methods to reduce your chance of developing cancer. This may include lifestyle changes, regular cancer screening, or medical prevention, such as chemotherapy or surgery.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor in Manhattan, call 646-754-1376.

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor in Brooklyn, call 917-736-9740.

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor in Long Island, call 516-403-1550.