We provide cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling to individuals or families with concern regarding an inherited predisposition to cancer. When appropriate, we coordinate genetic testing, aid in the interpretation of results, and discuss management guidelines.
How do I know if the cancer in my family is hereditary?
- Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with the same types of cancer (or related types of cancer, such as breast & ovarian or colon and uterine/endometrial)
- Cancer that occurs under the age of 50 years
- Rare cancers
- A known cancer predisposition gene in the family
- Concern about personal or family cancer risk
- Cancer and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
The decision to have genetic counseling and/or testing is a very individual one. One of the goals of a genetic counseling session is to help the patient work through the decision-making process of genetic testing. If you and your family meet one or more of the above criteria, you may want to consider contacting the Cancer Genetic Program.
What to expect in a cancer genetic counseling session:
- Discussion of the reason for your referral, include an explanation of your specific risks
- Discussion of the genetics of cancer and the newest advances in cancer genetics
- Extended discussion of your medical and family history (type of cancer, age of diagnosis, etc.)
- Individual cancer risk assessment
- The risk, benefits, limitations and possible impact of genetic testing on you and your family
- The opportunity to decide if genetic testing is right for you
- Follow-up discussion of your test results (if you decide to proceed with testing)
- Availability of a geneticist (medical doctor who specializes in genetic conditions)
Will health insurance pay for genetic counseling and genetic testing?
There are no fees for the actual genetic counseling sessions. This service is provided by the Brown Cancer Center.
In many instances, insurance companies will pay for all or a portion of the cost of genetic testing. Many genetic testing laboratories have a process of pre-certification available, so that the individual can know ahead of time whether or not their insurance company will cover the cost of testing.
Legislation at the national level prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums based on genetic testing results.
How to contact us:
If you feel you may be at genetic high-risk for cancer, please fill out the checklist above and/or discuss it with your primary care physician. To schedule an appointment, your physician may contact us at 502.852.5334 (phone) or fax the referral form to our office at 502-852-7886 (fax).
If you have a question about cancer genetic counseling, please contact us through the email form below. You will receive a response within two business days.
The Cancer Genetic Counseling team members are part of the University of Louisville’s Genetics Unit located in the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center. The Cancer Genetics Clinic is located in the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
The Cancer Genetic Clinic is held twice monthly at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.