Illinois CancerCare Genetics Clinic provides counseling and testing for all types of cancer including: familial colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, sarcoma, and other less common tumors. Clues to an inherited predisposition to cancer include multiple family members with the same or related cancer types, cancers being diagnosed at an earlier age than is expected, and individuals being diagnosed with more than one cancer in their lifetime.
We have included in the “Do you know your risk for” section web links to some of the more common inherited cancer conditions seen in our genetics clinic.
What Can You Expect At Your Visit:
- Review of your family and medical history information with particular attention to cancers
- A pedigree, or a precise outline of your family’s history of cancer
- Risk assessment, including consideration of inherited, environmental, and lifestyle risks
- Physical examination, when appropriate
- Explanation of relevant inherited cancer predisposition syndromes and patterns of inheritance
- Discussion of management including risk reduction strategies and screening options
- Genetic testing, if indicated
- Provision of information about support groups and other helpful resources
- Consultation with other specialists as needed
- Follow-up care
Appointments are generally 1 hour consultations for the initial visit. You will be seen by a physician with expertise in cancer genetics. Most people will have a second appointment which is usually around 30 minutes.
What Is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is a communication process that translates complex medical information into understandable terms and helps people understand the implications of this information for them and for their family. The goals of genetic counseling are to help individuals and their families:
- understand a genetic condition and how it is inherited
- provide understandable information so that informed health care and life decisions can be made
- address the personal and family issues related to the genetic condition
Information Needed For Your Clinic Visit
Patients are asked to complete and return a personal and family history questionnaire prior to their visit so that the physician and genetic nurse are informed about the issues important to the family before the initial visit.
Family And Medical History Forms
Family and medical history forms will be mailed to you or can be downloaded from this website at the links below. It is very important that these be completed and, if possible, returned to us prior to your clinic visit so that we can provide you with accurate information, assess the risks to you and your family members, and address your questions and concerns. Please note that it is important to include information about ALL family members, not just family members who are affected by cancer.
If you have had a cancer or precancerous condition, pertinent medical records should be sent to our clinic prior to your appointment. We also encourage you to contact relatives with cancers or precancerous conditions but understand that it may not be possible to obtain their medical records. We will provide genetic counseling based on the information that you provide us. Contact us if you have any questions regarding specific records that are needed. Click the link below to download the Medical Records Release Form.
Will My Visit Be Covered By My Insurance?
This depends on your insurance plan. Most insurance plans cover visits to a specialist if you already have a diagnosis of cancer. If you are unaffected by cancer and have a family history, your visit may be covered under your wellness plan. The Affordable Care Act may mandate that your visit be covered by your insurance as a preventive medicine measure.
Will I Be Tested The Day Of My Appointment?
If your appointment is with telemedicine, you may receive a saliva kit in the mail or come to an Illinois CancerCare clinic at your convenience for a blood draw.
If your appointment is at the clinic and testing is appropriate, it can be performed the day of your initial visit.
Can My Insurance Company Discriminate Against Me If I Have A Genetic Mutation?
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), enacted in May of 2008, provides federal protection from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. It is possible to face difficulty acquiring life insurance, long term care or long term disability if you have cancer or a known genetic mutation.
What Does Testing Mean To My Family?
This question will be addressed at your appointment. The physician will explain how genetic problems are inherited and give you advice regarding testing or surveillance of your family members.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost Of My Genetic Test?
The genetic testing companies will verify your insurance coverage for you and will let you know if your test is not covered. You will then have the option of canceling your test and owing nothing.
You always have the option to pay out of pocket for the test, currently priced at $250.00. This is only for the test and not the consult, although financial assistance options may be available in this situation. The Illinois CancerCare genetics team will contact you prior to your appointment to help with questions regarding fees, insurance and billing.