Clinical Cancer Genetics Service

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If you think you may be at an increased risk of developing cancer turn to the experts of Jefferson's Clinical Cancer Genetics Service.

It is estimated that 5-10% of cancers are caused by changes or mutations in certain genes that are passed along from generation to generation. A genetic risk assessment will allow you to find out if you and/or your family members have a higher risk of developing certain cancers due to inheritance.

Our program is for people with cancer or at higher risk for cancer due to a personal or family history of cancer. Doctors and genetic counselors help you find out if you or your family has a genetic risk for cancer. Identifying these cancer risks can help you make smart choices about cancer screening and risk reduction. This information also informs your family members if they have inherited similar risks.

What Genetic Services Are Offered?

Our staff provides the following services to help you and your family manage your cancer risk:

  • Appointment with a licensed genetic counselor or advanced practice nurse in collaboration with a medical oncologist
  • Personalized cancer risk assessment
  • Detailed review of your family and medical history and discussion of the roles genes play in the development of cancer
  • Individualized cancer screening recommendations
  • Cancer risk-reduction options and prevention strategies
  • Discussion of the benefits and limitations of genetic testing
  • Genetic testing if appropriate
  • Opportunity to participate in research studies focused on cancer risk and prevention

Why Should I Have a Cancer Risk Assessment or Cancer Genetic Counseling?

You may benefit from genetic counseling and genetic testing for inherited cancers if your family history includes:

  • Cancer at an early age (under 50)
  • Multiple cancers in one person
  • Multiple family members with the same cancer (on the same side of the family)
  • Certain combinations of cancer in a family (breast/ovarian; colon/uterine; melanoma/pancreas)
  • Jewish ancestry (Ashkenazi) with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer
  • Rare cancers  (e.g., male breast cancer)
  • More than ten colon polyps
  • At least two generations affected with cancer or pre-cancerous lesions
  • Several individuals with less common types of cancer
  • People from families with a known hereditary cancer syndrome
  • Having a known genetic mutation in a close family member
  • Three or more first-degree relatives with prostate cancer or two affected first degree relatives with prostate cancer under the age of 55

Make an Appointment with the Cancer Genetics Team

For hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genetic counseling and risk assessment

Contact Sue Miller-Samuel, MSN, RN, AGN-BC Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics, at 215-955-9098.

For genetic counseling and risk assessment for colorectal cancer

Contact Stephanie Winheld, MS, LCGC Genetic Counselor, at 215-955-1011.

For genetic counseling and risk assessment for all other cancers

Contact Laura Gross, BA (Program Manager), at 215-503-5285.

Our genetic counselors provide cancer risk assessment and genetic evaluation to patients at some of Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Network Hospitals either in person or via telecommunications. 

Give Now

There are many ways you can contribute to the advancement of genetic testing for cancers. Your donations will be used to support vital research to better understand why individuals are at risk for cancers in their lifetime. Also, your contribution provides genetic testing to those without insurance coverage.

If you are interested in donating to the Cancer Risk Assessment and Clinical Cancer Genetics Program, please contact Laura Gross at 215-503-5285.