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Genetic Counseling and Testing Team

Genetic testing for breast cancer is an important part of any comprehensive breast center. Our medical oncologists who specialize in genetics and high risk patients, along with our genetic counselors, are experienced in guiding families through the genetic testing process. They also are up to date on the most recent methods for helping patients manage the knowledge that they have a genetic predisposition for developing breast cancer.

We strongly believe in the importance of genetic counseling before performing any testing, so that the ramifications of the results (positive or negative) are understood. Our team helps the patient make informed decisions upon learning her results.

Meet our genetic testing and counseling staff:

Photo of Dr. Deborah Armstrong, M.D.

Armstrong, Deborah, M.D.

Professor of Oncology
Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Director, Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service
 
Photo of Dr. Kala Visvanathan, M.B.B.S., M.H.S.

Visvanathan, Kala, M.B.B.S., M.H.S.

Joint Appointment in Oncology
Director of Clinical Cancer Genetics and Prevention Service, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
 

Breast Cancer Genetic Counselor Jennifer Axilbund, M.S.

 Jennifer Axilbund, M.S.

Jennifer Axilbund is a certified genetic counselor with a special interest in cancer risk assessment. She has a bachelor of science in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master’s in genetic counseling from the University of Colorado and another master’s in molecular biology and genetics from Northwestern University.

She is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Cancer Genetics Network. Her clinical interests include genetic counseling, genetic testing for cancer susceptibility and familial pancreas cancer.

Connie Ziegfeld

Constance (Connie) Ziegfeld, M.S., R.N.

Constance (Connie) Ziegfeld is a clinical specialist and case manager for community programs at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and a clinical specialist for the Johns Hopkins Breast Center. She has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Towson University and a master’s in nursing from the University of Maryland. Her clinical interests include breast and prostate cancer screening and prevention, high risk screening for breast cancer, and professional and patient education.

Connie has worked in oncology since 1975, and exclusively in the area of breast cancer screening and detection since 1980. In addition to administrative and education roles, she has been an active clinician with the Johns Hopkins Hospital breast program since 1980. She also has taught and written about oncology nursing care. She provides clinical breast examinations and education in the Breast Evaluation Program (BEP) and the Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service (BOSS).