Genetic Risk Assessment
At Illinois Cancer Specialists, we provide advanced and comprehensive medical and support services for people diagnosed with cancer or who have a higher risk of developing cancer. If you are considering genetic testing, it is important to talk with a healthcare team who can help you understand your options.
Through genetic testing, we can help you learn about your inherited risk of developing cancers such as breast, gastrointestinal, uterine/ovarian and others. We can help you and your family understand the results if you decide to undergo genetic testing. Furthermore, we will provide you the information you need to make decisions about prevention or treatment options.
As part of our integrated team, our oncologists, nurse practitioners and nurse specialists will provide information and support for you and your family by:
- Educating you about how genetics plays a part in cancer risk;
- Assessing your risk of a genetic disorder by researching your family’s cancer history;
- Discussing the medical, social and ethical impact of genetic testing on you and your family;
- Interpreting genetic testing results and medical data; and
- Explaining possible treatments or preventive measures.
If you are a patient with a Hereditary Risk Assessment scheduled, please fill out these forms prior to your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is genetic testing?
Today, tests are available that can detect certain gene mutations. Genetic testing can determine whether or not you have a hereditary predisposition that may put you at higher risk of developing a cancer.
What are the benefits of genetic testing?
- Opportunity to reduce the risk of developing a cancer.
- Early detection, which increases the chance of a successful outcome.
- Knowledge regarding ones cancer risk can help make medical and lifestyle choices.
- Information can be shared with family members, so they too can benefit and make choices about their health.
Why is genetic testing important?
Although genetic testing cannot predict whether you will actually develop cancer, understanding your risk of developing the disease can be an important step in making medical and lifestyle decisions that can help prevent cancer. It may also help determine a schedule for screening that can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.
What happens during the test?
While the actual test involves a simple blood draw and lab analysis, the pre- and post-consultation with your healthcare team is a key component of your cancer risk assessment. The initial consultation will include a comprehensive family cancer history, and the post-test results discussion will address the cancer risk reduction options you have.
What happens after the test?
After the test results return from the lab, we will review the results with you and address your cancer risk reduction options, which may include closer medical observation, more frequent tests and preventive therapies, among others. Furthermore, as your life/needs change over time, so should your plan and our dedicated team will be with you every step of the way.
Will insurance cover genetic testing?
HIPAA protects patient privacy and prohibits health insurance providers from discrimination based on genetic information. Most laboratories determine coverage prior to testing and because the pre- and post-consultation is with a physician, most patients do have coverage. Our patient financial counselors can help with this process and answer any questions you might have regarding coverage.