Genetic Counseling

Our genetic counselors provide comprehensive genetic counseling and testing services for those who may be at increased risk of hereditary cancer. Some individuals have an increased risk of developing cancer based on their personal and/or family history. Several members, across generations, may be affected. We provide evaluation, counseling, testing and referral for appropriate ongoing monitoring, treatment and follow-up.
cancer patient looks to genetic counseling

Hereditary cancers treated include:

  • Breast
  • Gynecological cancers: ovarian, uterine and fallopian tube
  • Gastrointestinal: colon, rectal, pancreatic and gastric
  • Genitourinary: kidney
  • Endocrine: thyroid, pituitary and adrenal
  • Skin: melanoma

We also provide counseling and genetic testing for the following syndromes:

  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations)
  • Cowden syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (Lynch syndrome)
  • Colon polyp syndromes: famililial adenomatous polyposis, MYH-associated polyposis, juvenile polyposis
  • Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Von-Hipple-Lindau syndrome
  • Birg-Hogg-Dube syndrome
  • Hereditary paraganlioma syndrome
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1 and type 2 syndrome
  • Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer syndrome
  • Hereditary papillary renal cell cancer syndrome
  • Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome

Patients who learn they have a genetic predisposition to cancer have many options, including:

  • Ongoing surveillance and monitoring of status or precancerous conditions
  • Immediate action and treatment at the appropriate time
  • Genetics counseling and testing for family members
  • Prophylactic surgery, care and follow-up
  • Access to Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center's Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Program, which helps couples with an increased risk for a specific genetic abnormality to have a child unaffected by that particular disease
  • Cancer treatment and follow-up