A clinician swabs a patient's cheek for a genetic test sample.

Genetic Testing

From the color of your eyes to the shape of nose, your DNA guides and determines all of your inherited traits. Unfortunately, this biological blueprint also shapes your risk of inheriting diseases.

We believe that genetics is one of the most valuable tools in empowering you to make informed choices about your life and your health. Our centers for clinical genetics offer new and innovative genetic tests specially designed to help you understand how your genes influence your health. Our goal is to analyze your DNA to help prevent potential diseases.

Genetic tests, also known as genetic screenings, DNA tests, or chromosomal tests, are screenings used to determine your risk of contracting certain hereditary diseases. In order to better understand and manage your risks, we offer treatment, management and prevention plans personalized for your unique genetic needs.

Inheritable diseases are many and include certain cancers. Our genetic tests are available to anyone who has a personal or familial history of inherited forms of:

  • Hereditary Cancers (breast, lung, ovarian, uterine, colorectal, prostate)
  • Cardiovascular diseases (Coronary Artery Disease, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol) 
  • Neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy)
  • Melanoma
  • Asthma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hemophilia

Genetic testing comes in a variety of forms depending on the test’s purpose. A test might be administered to diagnose a disease, to assess if you carry a disease gene that may be passed down to your child, or to determine your risk of developing certain diseases. Most tests can be done using samples of your skin, blood, hair, urine, or saliva.

Prenatal genetic tests, such as amniocenteses and chorionic villus sampling take samples of your amniotic fluid or placenta to check for potential hereditary birth risks. 

If you or an immediate family member can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, we encourage you to schedule a genetics test at one of our centers for clinical genetics.

  • Has anyone had breast, colon, uterine, kidney or prostate cancer before age 50?
  • Has anyone had ovarian, pancreatic or male breast cancer at any age?
  • Has anyone had a rare type of cancer, such as sarcoma, medullary thyroid cancer, paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma?
  • Has anyone had more than one type of cancer?
  • Has anyone had bilateral cancer, such as breast or kidney?
  • Have multiple family members on the same side had cancer (the same or different types)?
  • Are you of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish ancestry? If so, has anyone had breast, ovarian, pancreatic or prostate cancer? 

By combining leading-edge research with top-quality clinical expertise, we provide personalized and empathetic care that will best support your specific health needs. 

Genetic tests are safe, non-invasive procedures, but may carry emotional risks, should the possibility of contracting a genetic disease be found.

While there are no potential complications involved in receiving a general genetic test, prenatal tests and blood drawing for tests do carry specific risks. These include infection, bleeding, bruising, or swelling of the site of blood draw, as well as birthing complications.

Doctors Specializing in Genetic Testing

At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.