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Cancer Genetic Counseling

Inova's Cancer Genetic Counseling Program is an important part of our commitment to providing world-class oncology services. This program serves individuals who are at increased risk for hereditary cancer. We see patients and families with many different types of cancers, including breast, ovarian and colon cancer.

Meet our genetic counselor arrow


For patients with breast cancer


What can I expect from cancer genetic counseling?

Cancer genetic counseling generally includes the following:

  • A review of medical history, family history and other cancer risk factors to estimate a person's risk for developing specific cancers
  • An estimate of the likelihood that cancers in a family are hereditary
  • Recommendations of cancer screenings and other risk-reducing strategies
  • Discussion of the benefits, limitations and risks of genetic testing
  • Genetic test(s) and a follow-up meeting to discuss results

Who can benefit from cancer genetic counseling?

Individuals with a personal and/or family history of:

  • Early-onset cancers, such as breast or colon cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Cancer in two or more first-degree relatives on the same side of the family
  • 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 or multiple cancers
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry with significant personal and/or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

What occurs during a visit?

Your initial visit will last one to two hours. The genetic counselor will collect medical and family history information, provide a cancer risk assessment and discuss the options of genetic testing in full detail.


Will my insurance company cover the cost of my genetic testing?

Many insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of genetic testing. As part of our service, the genetic counselor works with your insurance company to obtain benefit information and pre-authorization for testing.

To schedule a genetic counseling appointment, call 703-970-3209.