Cancer Genetic Counseling

Additional Information

Cancer has a variety of causes, including genetics. At Carilion Clinic, we're here to help you understand your risk for a hereditary cancer and, if you are at high risk, to assist you in developing a plan of action to reduce your risk or prevent cancer altogether.


We provide comprehensive risk assessments and genetic counseling to patients for inherited cancer conditions.

We typically see patients who have:

  • An unusual pattern of cancer in the family
  • Onset of cancer at an unusually young age among family members
  • Family members with the same kind or related types of cancer
  • Family members with more than one kind of cancer
  • Rare forms of cancer among family members

Our services include:

  • Education about cancer risks
  • Guidelines for cancer screening and prevention
  • Referrals to resources and support groups
  • Coordination of genetic testing and related insurance issues
  • Identification and enrollment of eligible patients in cancer research studies


  • If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, please consider having a family cancer risk .
  • Do you have a personal or family history of cancer, including breast, colon/rectal, kidney, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, small bowel, stomach, thyroid or uterine?
  • Do you have three or more relatives on the same side of the family with the same type of cancer or related cancers (e.g., breast and ovarian cancer or colon and uterine cancer)?
  • Have you had more than one type of cancer or bilateral (ie, cancer in both breasts) cancer?
  • Have you been diagnosed with cancer at an unusually young age (e.g., breast, colon or uterine cancer diagnosed under age 50)?
  • Have you been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (e.g., male breast cancer, ovarian epithelial cancer or medullary thyroid cancer)?
  • Are you of Ashkenazi Jewish decent and also have a family history of cancer?
  • Have you had more than 10 to 15 precancerous polyps in the colon/GI tract?
  • Has anyone in your family undergone genetic testing for cancer, even if the results were negative?