Treatments & Programs

Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment

Genetic research plays an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. To help patients and their families understand and evaluate their risk for certain diseases, New York Oncology Hematology offers a comprehensive hereditary risk assessment program, including:

  • In-depth personal and family history
  • Genetic testing, as appropriate
  • Education for patients and their families

Dr. Karen Tedesco is director of NYOH’s Hereditary Risk Assessment Program and many of our Advanced Practice Providers and nursing staff are part of our Hereditary Risk Assessment team. Dr. Tedesco recently completed the City of Hope Cancer Center Intensive Course in Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment, ensuring NYOH patients have access to the very latest information and testing.

Although hereditary risk assessment and genetic testing cannot predict whether you will actually develop cancer, understanding your risk for developing the disease can help you and your family in making important decisions, including regular screenings that can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

To schedule a consultation with a member of the NYOH Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment team, please call: 518-262-1068.

Hereditary Risk & Genetic Testing FAQ

What is genetic testing?

Today, tests are available that can detect certain gene mutations. Genetic testing can determine whether you have a hereditary predisposition that may put you at higher risk of developing cancer before any symptoms appear.

How do I know if I need genetic testing?

Although genetic testing cannot predict whether you will actually develop cancer, there are several conditions where a patient’s risk for developing cancer is higher. You may consider genetic testing if you or a family member has had the following:

  • Breast cancer before the age of 50 or male breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine (endometrial) cancer before the age of 50
  • Colon and/or rectal cancer before the age of 50
  • Ten or more adenomatous polyps at any age

Why is genetic testing important?

Although genetic testing cannot predict whether you will actually develop cancer, understanding your risk of developing the disease can be an important step in making medical and lifestyle decisions that can help prevent cancer or about getting regular screenings that can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

What happens during the test?

While the actual test involves a simple blood draw and lab analysis, the pre- and post-consultation with your healthcare team is a key component of your cancer risk assessment. These consultations will prepare you for the pre-test interview, which involves obtaining a comprehensive family cancer history, and the post-test results discussion, regarding the cancer risk options you have.

What happens after the test?

After the test results return from the lab, we will review the results with you and address your cancer risk options, which may include closer medical observation, more frequent testing, preventive surgery, and/or preventive medication, among others. Furthermore, as your life/needs change over time, so should your plan. NYOH’s dedicated team will be with you every step of the way.

Will insurance cover genetic testing?

HIPAA protects patient privacy and prohibits health insurance providers from discriminating based on genetic information. Most laboratories determine coverage prior to testing. Because the pre- and post-consultation is with a physician, most patients do have coverage. Our office can help with this process and answer any questions you might have regarding coverage.

To schedule a consultation with a member of the NYOH Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment team, please call: 518-262-1068.