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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center / Centers & Clinics

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Genetic Counseling

Our team includes genetic experts at the Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service (B.O.S.S.), offering multi-disciplinary consultation including risk assessment, testing, and long term management of patients who may have a genetic component to their disease process. 

In studying the genetic makeup of families who have an unusual frequency of breast and/or ovarian cancer, scientists have learned of some specific genetic mutations (changes) that can increase your chances of developing breast cancer.  

You may be recommended for genetic counseling if:

  • You have a personal history of breast cancer at an unusually young age (less than 50)
  • You have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • You have a family history of cancer in both breasts
  • You are a man, or have a history of male breast cancer in your family
  • You are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • You have a family history of certain combinations of breast, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers.

BRCA1/BRCA2 are two known mutations which put their carriers at increased risk of developing  a primary breast cancer, a breast cancer recurrence, and ovarian cancer. Other, less common, gene mutations can be passed down in families and may cause a variety of cancers.

Results of a genetic test can be either positive for mutation, negative for mutation, or having a mutation of unknown importance.  Results must be interpreted in the context of the family and personal history.

We believe that it is vital for patients to have comprehensive consultation along with genetic testing. We want you and your family to fully understand your family history and your test results, so that you can make informed decisions about your and your family’s health. Your nurse navigator can put you in touch with our B.O.S.S. service and our genetic experts so that you can LiveWell and be informed about your genetics and your risk of disease.