Cancer Genetics Program
At St. Joseph Hospital, we believe genetic testing is a valuable tool in empowering you to take charge of your health.
Through personalized management recommendations, early detection, risk reduction and cancer prevention, our genetic counseling team designs a comprehensive and personalized prevention plan with care options such as diet, exercise, prophylactic treatment and other techniques.
Our genetic counselors explore research options, both locally and nationally, to identify genetic research opportunities that may benefit you and your family. Research participation is completely voluntary and is typically offered when specific personal or family history meets study criteria and provides the most meaningful participation.
In order to better understand and manage your cancer risk, we offer consultations that inform a prevention plan personalized to your unique medical needs. Along with an initial consultation, appointments include:
- Comprehensive genetic counseling and genetic risk assessment
- Thorough review of personal and family history
- An explanation of inherited syndromes and familial cancer risk
- Selection and interpretation of clinically valid and appropriate genetic testing
- Personalized risk management and cancer prevention plan
- Discussion of updated national guidelines and management options
- Additional risk estimates and recommendations for close family members
- Detailed consultation report
We encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our genetic counselors if you have a personal or family history of:
- Cancer (ex: breast, colon or uterine) occurring at an age that is younger than expected (typically before age 50)
- Two or more family members with the same type or related types of cancer (ex: breast and ovarian, uterine and colon, pancreas and melanoma)
- A rare or unusual type of cancer (ex: medullary thyroid, pheochromocytoma, childhood sarcoma)
- Ovarian cancer or pancreas cancer occurring at any age
- More than one type of cancer occurring in the same person (ex: separate primary cancers, not a single metastatic cancer spreading to other parts of the body).
- Metastatic or Gleason score 7+ prostate cancer
- A current lifetime history of 10+ cumulative colon polyps
- Anyone of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with a personal or family history of breast cancer at any age
The Cancer Genetics Program may be reached directly by phone at 714-734-6229. Prior to the appointment, a brief telephone interview is completed to review personal and family history and to answer questions about our genetic counseling services. All new patients are asked to complete an in-depth personal and family history questionnaire in preparation for their consultation.
If you proceed with genetic testing, a blood or salvia sample will be taken during the consultation. Test results from a genetic test are typically received within 2-3 weeks. Once results are available, the genetic counselor will call to inform you of the results and to offer a second consultation (approximately ½ hour). During the results phone call or second visit, the genetic test results and interpretation of the results are reviewed and individualized screening and prevention recommendations are provided for you and family members.