Genetic Testing and Counseling

Cancer care with genetic testing and counseling

In Indiana, our Ascension St. Vincent genetic counselors provide answers and telemedicine options now closer to home.

Ascension St. Vincent Cancer Genetic Testing and Counseling

Cancer may be caused by abnormal gene changes known as mutations. Mutations accumulate over time, leading to sporadic cancer. Sometimes environmental factors influence the accumulation of mutations. In a small percentage of families, a gene mutation can be passed on from generation to generation. Inherited mutations may predispose those who are carriers to develop particular types of cancer. Not everyone with an inherited mutation will develop cancer, although the risks are increased.

Who should consider cancer genetic counseling?

If you or a close relative has had:

  • Cancer at a younger age than usual (under age 50)
  • A rare type of cancer (such as ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, or triple negative breast cancer)
  • Multiple primary or bilateral cancers
  • Multiple close relatives with cancer of the same type
  • A relative who carries a mutation in hereditary cancer gene
  • Concern about your family history of cancer

Genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer is available through Ascension St. Vincent Health. Knowing your risk for cancer can help you make informed choices about your medical management, including enhanced surveillance, taking potential medications to lower the risk of developing certain cancers, and other optional preventive measures, such as risk-reducing surgery.

Our board-certified genetic counselors work closely with your physician to help communicate findings that may be important to cancer surveillance and your medical care.

During a genetic counseling visit, our licensed, board-certified genetic counselor will review your health history and your family history to look for any risk factors. If there is a family history of a birth defect or genetic disorder, the genetic counselor will discuss the chance that the condition will occur again in your family. The genetic counselor will also provide up-to-date information about available screening and diagnostic tests, treatments, research options, support groups and community resources.

We will help you to sort through and understand your risks and to understand the variety of testing, screening and treatment options available. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family are comfortable with the decision you make and that you feel you make an informed choice.

We are now providing genetic counseling services through telegenetics (online video calls) from several Ascension St. Vincent locations in Indiana. Our telegenetics service provides access to genetic counseling from designated remote locations with the assistance of a genetic counselor extender.

To schedule a genetic services appointment at Ascension St. Vincent, please call 317-338-7475.

Featured Locations