Mays Cancer Center Genetics & High-Risk Screening

Our Clinic


A small percentage of individuals have a hereditary predisposition to specific cancers. Identification of these individuals may provide for medical interventions that result in better treatment and management outcomes. This information is not only crucial for the patient, but for their family members as well. The clinic's genetic counselors will help a patient determine whether genetic testing is the right option for them.


Our clinic provides patients with a comprehensive cancer risk assessment. This assessment helps identify patients who may have hereditary cancer syndromes. Our counselors educate patients and family members, coordinate genetic testing for other family members and interpret test results for patients as well as their medical providers. Using genetic test results, we may recommend medical interventions that can improve outcomes.


An individual may want genetic counseling if:

  • There is a known hereditary cancer syndrome in the family
  • There is a personal history of cancer before the age of 50
  • There is a family or personal history of breast cancer before age 45
  • There is a personal or family history of colorectal cancer before age 50
  • There is a personal or family history of ovarian cancer
  • He or she has had more than one cancer in his or her lifetime
  • There is a family or personal history of rare tumors or cancers



    1. Family Origins:
    What counties are your ancestors from? Take note of any Ashkenazi Jews (Eastern European) within the family.


    2. List Relatives:
    List out all parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, as well as grandparents and any half family members. Please add age or age of death.


    3. Add cancer diagnoses:
    Location of cancer in the body, age of diagnosis, and how the cancer was treated.


    How is genetic testing going to affect my insurance?
    GINA is a state and federal legislation that provides protection from genetic discrimination to individuals enrolled in group health insurance plans. More information will be provided before testing is conducted.


    Will a physician be present during my genetic counseling visits?
    During your appointment, a physician may or may not be present, however the genetic counselor will consult physicians about both your medical and family history.


    Can family members come with me to my first appointment?
    Family and friends are welcome at your appointment, however if they have specific questions or concerns it may require a separate appointment for them.


    What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
    Please bring the medical questionnaire along with other copies of medical records (genetic test results/ pathology reports, etc.) to your appointment. Family medical history is also suggested.


    How long will it take to get my genetic test results?
    The timeline for testing varies, however the usual time frame is anywhere between 2-6 weeks. A more exact time will be given at the time of the test.