HomeHealth Topics A to ZOncologic Genetic Counseling
Health Topics

Oncologic Genetic Counseling

By DMG Integrated Oncology Program

While most cancers develop by chance, some individuals have a strong personal and family history of cancer that may suggest an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome. Hereditary cancer syndromes are passed through a family’s changes in genes. The most common inherited cancer syndromes involve breast, ovarian and colon cancers.

DMG’s genetic counseling program is an important part of our commitment to providing outstanding oncology services to the patients and communities we serve. This service is available to individuals who are at an increased risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome. Cancer genetic counseling helps patients to make informed medical decisions based on their own personal risk assessment.  Genetic counseling can also help to provide the patient’s family with important cancer risk information. These interventions can have a significant impact on a person's life by allowing them to better manage their health and reduce their risk of developing cancer through increased awareness, screening and management.

At DMG, we see patients and families with many different types of cancers. We are committed to providing a comprehensive plan to help assist patients and their families with all aspects of the risk assessment and testing process, surveillance, surgical decision-making and follow-up care.

What to Expect from Genetic Counseling

  • Genetic counseling generally includes the following to assess a person's risk for developing specific cancers:
    • A review of medical history and other cancer risk factors (i.e. smoking)
    • Family history
  • An estimate of the likelihood that cancers in a family are related to a hereditary cancer syndrome
  • Recommendations for cancer screenings and other risk-reducing strategies
  • Discussion of the benefits, limitations and risks of genetic testing
  • Genetic test(s), if appropriate,  and a follow-up meeting to discuss results

Would Genetic Counseling Be Helpful for Me?

Genetic counseling is appropriate for individuals with a personal and/or family history of:

  • Cancer occurring at a younger age than average (diagnosed younger than age 50)
  • Cancer in two or more first and/or second degree relatives on the same side of the family
  • Prostate cancer with family history
  • Rare type of cancer, such as male breast cancer
  • Multiple primary tumors (for example, a woman with two primary breast cancers, a woman with colon and endometrial cancer or a man with primary colon and stomach cancer)
  • Bilateral (both breasts) or multiple cancers
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry with significant personal and/or family history of breast or ovarian cancer

Genetic counseling is typically recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with cancer at a young age and for families with a strong history of cancer. If you are interested in learning about your hereditary risk for cancer, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our genetic counselor.

What Occurs During a Visit?

Your initial visit will last one to two hours. Your genetic counselor will collect medical and family history information, provide a cancer risk assessment and discuss genetic testing options in full detail to assist you in making important health and medical decisions. A return appointment is scheduled to discuss your test results in detail and any next steps, based on those results.

Will my Insurance Company Cover the Cost of my Genetic Testing?

Many insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of genetic testing, but not all. As part of our service, the genetic counselor works with your insurance company to obtain benefit information and pre-authorization for testing.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule a genetic counseling appointment with DuPage Medical Group, please call 630-545-7659.

Topics and Subtopics: Cancer & Women's Health

Learn more about:
High Risk Breast Clinic
Receive more health tips and DMG news right in your inbox!
Sign up for the Live Life Well newsletter