University of Chicago Medicine now Offering Genetic Testing and Counseling at Silver Cross Hospital
Cancer is never an easy topic to discuss, but thanks to a new program offered at The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, patients can take an active role in preventing the disease. The Cancer Center is now offering genetic testing and counseling for breast, ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers.
Prior to coming in for testing, patients will work with a genetic nurse or counselor to determine their family history and pedigree.
Patients may be a candidate for the program if they have:
- Multiple immediate family members, such as parents, siblings, or children, with cancer
- Relatives on one side of the family who have had the same type of cancer
- Had cancer or have a family members who has had cancer at a younger age than normal for that type of cancer
- Ethnicity (for example, Jewish ancestry is linked to ovarian and breast cancers)
- A physical finding that’s linked to an inherited cancer (such as having many colon polyps)
- A known genetic mutation in one or more family members who have already had genetic testing.
Once the family history is complete the patient will meet with Dr. Brooke Phillips and go over the testing in detail. Dr. Phillips, who is fully integrated into the University of Chicago’s Cancer Risk Program in Hyde Park, will oversee the new genetic counseling program. The test in done through a blood or saliva specimen and usually takes several weeks before results are in.
“At your follow-up appointment we will go through the results of the testing, and determine if there is any further action require,” Phillips said. “The importance of this kind of testing is that we can really develop a specific screening program to each patient.”
Dr. Phillips said next steps may involve routine screening, more tests, other referrals, or even preventative surgery.
“Genetic testing not only affects the patients, but also their families since these genetic mutations are inherited. So whenever we find a mutation and are able to form a plan, families are always really grateful,” Phillips said. “And because of these tests we can sometimes prevent cancer before it even starts.”
For more information about genetic counseling please call 855-UCM-1400.