Cancer Genetics Program
Cancer is not uncommon and every year 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. This means that cancer has touched many peoples’ lives, either through a personal experience or through that of a friend or family member. Most cancers happen by chance at an older age and are due to a combination of factors, including: exposures, environment, genetics, diet/lifestyle, and the natural aging process.
However, some people have a higher chance of developing cancer because of a hereditary factor and sometimes this explains why cancer seems to “run in a family”.
The Cancer Genetics Program helps identify those individuals and families at an increased risk for cancer and provides strategies to reduce risk and prevent cancer in the family.
Lee Ann McCoy, MS, CGC is a board-certified Genetic Counselor. She provides educational outreach and cancer genetic counseling services.
What is Cancer Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand the medical, psychological and family implications of genetic factors to cancer. During a visit the team will assess your risk by looking at personal and family history of cancer and other factors that may modify your risk. They will also talk to you about basic cancer genetics, risk assessment, and genetic testing, including:
- The role of genetics in cancer
- The chance cancer is hereditary in your family
- The emotional issues of knowing your cancer risk
- How to screen and test for cancers
- Different ways to reduce your cancer risk
- The risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing for certain cancers
- Whether you or other family members may benefit from genetic testing
- Genetic discrimination and insurance coverage
- Current research in cancer genetics and clinical protocol
Who should have Cancer Genetic Counseling?
You should schedule an appointment if you or a blood relative:
- Have considered having a genetic test for cancer risk assessment and prevention
- Have had cancer before age 50
- Have had ovarian cancer
- Have multiple family members with the same or related cancers (e.g. breast/ovarian or colon/endometrial)
- Have had bilateral cancer or multiple primary (new) cancers
- Have had colon cancer or multiple colon polyps
- Have been diagnosed with a rare cancer: breast cancer in a man, sarcoma, or medullary thyroid cancer
- Have a genetic syndrome or gene mutation that is associated with an increased risk for cancer (BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch Syndrome, PTEN, Li-Fraumeni, MEN1/2)
Are there benefits to learning about my genetic risk?
There are options for cancer screening and prevention for many types of cancer. Some of these options are only offered to individuals known to be at high risk. The information gained from genetic counseling and/or genetic testing may help you decide which, if any, of these options you want to pursue.
- Screening can help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage when prognosis is generally better.
- Risk-reduction strategies may prevent disease.
- Genetic counseling and genetic testing have the potential to reduce uncertainty surrounding cancer risk for you and other family members.
What the Cancer Genetics Program Can Offer You
Our goal is to help identify individuals and families with a hereditary predisposition to cancer. Our hope is that by offering personalized risk assessment and management recommendations, it will empower patients to take action to reduce their cancer risk and potentially prevent cancer in their family. We offer the following services to our patients and their families:
- A comprehensive assessment of your medical and family cancer history
- Genetic counseling, patient resources and support
- Clinical genetic testing as appropriate
- Interpretation of genetic test results
- Personalized cancer risk assessment with individualized cancer screening recommendations
- Information and opportunities to participate in cancer genetics research and clinical protocols
Information and Appointments
To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the Cancer Genetics Program contact our coordinator at (516) 325-7533 or email: LeeAnn.McCoy@chsli.org
The Cancer Institute
2200 Northern Boulevard, Suite 111
East Hills, NY 11548
Directions: Take the Long Island Expressway (495) to Exit 39N (Glen Cove Road). Go North on Glen Cove Road to Northern Boulevard (Rte. 25A). Make a Left onto Northern Blvd. Turn Left into East Hills Business & Medical Park at 2200 Northern Blvd., located across from the Nassau County Museum of Art. Pass the security booth and follow parking lot to Entrance D.
*When GPS is used directions are commonly incorrect so please follow written directions above.