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Cancer Genetics Program (CGP)

The Cancer Genetics Program offers cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling to help determine if your personal and/or family cancer history is due to an inherited susceptibility. We provide education, cancer risk assessment, and research opportunities for individuals concerned about their cancer risk. Genetic counselors work closely with specialists at the Breast Cancer Program and the Gynecologic Cancer Program to ensure you receive individualized, comprehensive care. 

The CGP:

  • Provides genetic counseling about your risk of having an inherited cancer susceptibility based on your personal and/or family cancer history.
  • Discusses basic genetics information such as how genes are passed down from parents, and how they play a role in cancer risk.
  • Discusses the most current genetic tests.
  • Recommends appropriate cancer screening based on estimated risk and current standards.
  • Discusses available options to manage cancer risk, including ways to reduce risk, that are personalized for you.

Contact the Cancer Genetics Program

Call 1-800-454-8156 for more information or to make an appointment.

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
300 Halket St.
Suite 1651
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Hillman Cancer Center
William M. Cooper Ambulatory Care Pavilion
5115 Centre Ave.
Breast Imaging - Suite 140
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Who may benefit from a cancer genetics consultation?

People who are concerned about their personal or family cancer history may benefit from genetic counseling. Having a genetic consultation may help address worry about cancer risk and provide a better understanding of risk and measures that can be taken. The program helps you and your physicians make informed decisions about your health care based on risk assessment and, in some cases, genetic test results.

Below are some additional reasons for which a cancer genetics consultation should be considered:

  • Families that have two or more relatives on the same side of the family with the same type of cancer or with related cancers — such as ovarian, breast, or colon cancers.
  • Individuals who have had, or whose relatives have had:
    • Cancer, such as breast or colon, diagnosed before the age of 45.
    • Primary cancers in both breasts, kidneys, or adrenal glands.
    • Two different primary cancers — such as primary breast and ovarian cancers, primary breast and colon cancers, or primary uterine and colon cancers.
    • A rare cancer that is more likely to be related to a hereditary cause – such as male breast cancer, retinoblastoma, medullary thyroid cancer, or pheochromocytoma.
    • A cancer that has a higher likelihood of being related to a genetic cause, such as ovarian, pancreatic, or metastatic prostate cancer.
    • A known change in a cancer predisposition gene.

Based on the risk assessment and the counseling session, genetic testing will be recommended if indicated. If genetic testing is not done, cancer risks will be estimated based on personal and family history, and appropriate screening guidelines will be reviewed.

Your insurance may cover your genetic counseling and subsequent genetic testing, if appropriate. Insurance companies may have specific policies for coverage of genetics services.

Your Appointment at the Cancer Genetics Program

To make an appointment, or for more information, call 1-800-454-8156.

Before your appointment

  • You will need to gather information about your family and its medical history related to cancer
  • You may need to provide medical records if we don’t have access to them to ensure accurate risk assessment 

During your appointment

During your appointment you will meet with one of our genetic providers for approximately 60 minutes to review your personal and family history, basic information on inheritance, the chances for a hereditary cancer susceptibility, estimated cancer risks if appropriate, based on the information you provided.

Your genetic provider will discuss:

  • A review of your family and health history.
  • The possible role of genes in your personal and/or family's cancer as well as how inherited and environmental factors may influence cancer risks in you or your family.
  • The types of genetic tests available for certain cancers.
  • Genetic testing (blood or saliva test), including the risks, benefits, limitations, and costs.
  • When appropriate, your estimated risks for certain cancers based on your age, family history, and other factors.
  • Your cancer screening options if appropriate.
  • Available research studies.
  • How cancer risks may affect you and your family.

If needed, your genetic provider will provide information about services and specialists, which may include:

  • Cancer screening
  • Surgery consultation
  • Specialists in cancer risk management
  • Social workers
  • Nutrition experts

Contact the CGP

The CGP is a joint program of:

To make an appointment, refer a patient, or learn more about us, call 1-800-454-8156.

We're open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During nights and weekends, you can leave us a message.

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