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Smilow Cancer Genetics & Prevention Program

The Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program is a team of specialists, including geneticists, genetic counselors, physicians, and nurse practitioners, who work together to provide cancer risk assessment and take steps to prevent the development of cancer. Patients seen in the Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention program will typically first meet with a genetic counselor. Genetic counselors are licensed medical professionals with advanced training in genetics who help patients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to diseases such as cancer. 

Our Approach

The cancer genetic counseling process includes the following: 

  • Detailed review of a patient’s medical history and their family history of cancer
  • Risk assessment of the chance that the cancer(s) in the family are hereditary
  • Discussion of the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing
  • Coordination of genetic testing and detailed discussion of genetic test results
  • Discussion of appropriate medical management recommendations, implications for family members, and support resources. 

Our specific goals include the following:  

  • Clinical: Provide patient-centered care and foster collaboration amongst healthcare providers
  • Research: Advance the field of cancer genetics, risk prediction and prevention, and related treatment options
  • Education: Provide clinical/didactic experiences for genetic counseling students, medical students, residents, fellows, and other providers
  • Community Outreach: Promote awareness of hereditary cancer risk and provide broad-based education about cancer prevention options

Who may benefit from genetic counseling and testing?

Someone with:

  • A personal or family history of early-onset cancer (younger than 45-50 years)
  • Several family members on the same side of the family with cancer
  • A personal or family history of breast cancer and Jewish ancestry
  • A personal or family history of ovarian, pancreatic, triple negative breast cancer, or metastatic prostate cancer at any age
  • A personal or family history of multiple colon polyps
  • A personal or family history of multiple cancer diagnoses within the same individual
  • A personal or family history of a rare type of cancer/tumor (breast cancer in a male, medullary thyroid cancer, sebaceous carcinoma or adenoma)
  • A family history of a known gene mutation (such as BRCA1, BRCA2, MLH1, MSH2, etc.) 

Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program Members