Genetic Counseling

Wyoming Oncology provides genetic counseling to individuals with a personal and/or family history of cancer. Many cancers occur by chance, but as many as 10% of cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. People who carry one of these mutations may have an increased chance to develop cancer and also may pass the genetic mutation on to their children. Our cancer genetics program helps to identify people at risk for hereditary cancer and to provide education to reduce that risk, including cancer screening, education on cancer prevention, and cancer risk-reduction planning.

Who should meet with our Genetic Counselor?

  • Any patient with a concern about genetics and cancer is a candidate for counseling; however, patients who meet the following criteria are most helped by genetic counseling:
  • Individuals with a cancer diagnosis at an early age (before the age of 50)
  • Individuals with a personal history of cancer who are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Individuals with multiple primary cancers
  • Individuals with a family history of multiple cases of cancer on the same side of the family
  • Individuals with rare cancers (such as ovarian cancer or male breast cancer)

What happens during genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling typically occurs over 2-3 visits. The first visit usually lasts 60 minutes with subsequent visits lasting 15-30 minutes. The cost for genetic counseling, including all visits, is $100 payable at the time of the first visit. We cannot bill insurance directly for this service, but we will provide a receipt which can be submitted to insurance.

During the first visit, the genetic counselor will review medical history and family history information. They will also explain basic information concerning genetics, the genes associated with an increased risk for cancer, testing options, and management options. The genetic counselor will perform a cancer risk assessment based on the information provided and will discuss the chance that the cancer in your family may be caused by a gene. Depending on the risk, any genetic testing that could be helpful for you and your family will also be discussed.

If genetic testing is indicated, and you decide to pursue testing, blood draws for genetic testing will be performed at a subsequent visit. The cost of genetic testing varies, but may be covered by insurance. Results from testing typically take 2-4 weeks and a final visit will be scheduled with the genetic counselor to review your test results and discuss any management or follow up recommendations.

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