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Genetic Testing for Cancer

Hereditary Cancer Program


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About 5 to 10% of cancers are hereditary – or genetic. That means they are caused by specific gene changes – called mutations – that increase cancer risk and are usually inherited from parents and can be passed down to children. The rate of hereditary cancers varies based on cancer type. The most common genetic cancer syndromes are Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome. Some others that can be hereditary are endometrial cancer, melanoma, colorectal cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.

Genetic testing can tell you about your cancer risk. This will empower you to make more informed choices about your and your family's health – whether it's cancer screenings or preventive steps to help lower your risk.

Hereditary Cancer Testing

An experienced, trusted genetic care team

When you receive genetic testing at Sylvester, you can be confident you're working with a trusted team. Our geneticists and genetic counselors are from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics – experts who lead groundbreaking research and are at the forefront of genetics and precision medicine.

Our genetics specialists offer personal attention and expert care. You work with a multidisciplinary team:

  • Nurse navigator. Your nurse navigator gathers your information and makes sure you understand the testing process. They help schedule appointments, answer your questions, and ensure you know what to expect every step of the way.
  • Genetic counselor. Your counselor educates you about genetic risk factors. They answer your questions about genetics, hereditary cancers, or risks to you or your family.
  • Oncologist. Your oncologist helps you determine any next steps if you have any hereditary cancer genetics, such as regular screenings or certain tests.
  • Surgical oncologist. If your hereditary cancer genetics put you at greater risk of cancer, your surgical oncologist can help you decide if preventive approaches to lower your risk are right for you.
  • Geneticist. Geneticists are doctors who specialize in genes and heredity. They work with your genetic counselor to evaluate your genetic risk factors. Your geneticist helps you understand the results of genetic tests and make recommendations to manage hereditary cancer risks.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for outstanding research in its labs, treating patients in clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

Leading-edge genetic expertise. You receive care from a team that's a national leader in genetics research. The Department of Human Genetics at the Miller School of Medicine is among the nation's top departments for National Institutes of Health genetic research funding. That means you have access to the most advanced tests and treatments based on the latest evidence.

Board-certified genetic counselors. Our counselors provide expert guidance and support to help you and your family make informed choices about your health. We offer personal attention to help you and your family prevent cancer in future generations.

A multidisciplinary team. Our genetics specialists work with doctors and care providers in a full range of specialties to give you complete care – all in a single place. A holistic approach to your care, during and after cancer treatment. Sylvester takes a holistic approach to your care. That means we address all aspects of you as a person, including your nutrition, physical activity, creative expression, and spiritual wellness.

How do I get an appointment for genetic testing?

Call 305-243-6006 or request an appointment online.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.