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Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling

Inova's Cancer Genetic Counseling Program serves women in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, region who may be at increased risk for hereditary breast cancer. Our expert staff see patients and their families for many different types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and colon cancer. But women are often especially concerned about how a family history of breast cancer may affect them or other family members.


You may have many questions about cancer genetic counseling

  • Did my breast cancer "just happen," or is it inherited?
  • Are my children or other family members at risk?
  • Will the results of genetic counseling affect my treatment?
  • Am I at risk for developing other types of cancer?

What you can expect from cancer genetic counseling

  • An initial visit of one hour
  • A review of medical history, family history and other cancer risk factors
  • 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

Women who can benefit from cancer genetic counseling for breast cancer:

  • Women with a personal and/or family history of early-onset breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Breast 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)
  • Bilateral or multiple cancers
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry with significant personal and/or family history of breast or ovarian cancer

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 will work with you and your insurance company to obtain benefit information and pre-authorization for testing.

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