Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Genetic Services: When, Where, How

Genetics and Cancer--Genetic Services: When, Where, How

If cancer runs in your family, when do you need genetic services?

There are many features that can be present in a family that would indicate a referral is needed for genetic services. The following is a general (partial) checklist of characteristics that may indicate an increased risk of familial cancer or a heritable cancer syndrome. The symptoms of genetic diseases may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis and a complete list of characteristics:

Family History

___ A family history of multiple cases of the same or related types of cancer

___ One or more relatives with rare cancers

___ Cancers occurring at an earlier age of onset than usual (for instance, under the age of 50 years) in at least one family member

___ Bilateral cancers (two cancers that develop independently in a paired organ, i.e., both kidneys or both breasts)

___ One or more family members with two primary cancers (two original tumors that develop in different sites)

___ Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish background

Where to find genetic services

Genetic services are usually available in large hospitals or medical centers. The local phone book or physician directory may help you identify a genetic service provider in your area. Consult your physician for more information.

The National Cancer Institute has a Web site available to search for cancer genetic professionals by geographic area. This Cancer Genetics Services Directory is a directory of individuals who provide services related to cancer genetics (cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling, genetic susceptibility testing, and others). The link is listed on the Online Resources page of this website.

How genetic services can help

Genetic services can provide the following:

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Cancer Center


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