Skip to main content

Cancer Genetics Program

Cancer is not uncommon and every year 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed. This means that cancer has touched many peoples’ lives, either through a personal experience, friend, or family member. Most cancers happen by chance at an older age and are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 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.


Erica Poole, MS, GC is a graduate of The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program of Human Genetics. Having joined the Cancer Genetics Program at The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital in 2018, she provides educational outreach and cancer genetic counseling services for the community.

What is Cancer Genetic Counseling?

Cancer genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand how cancer and genetics are related; knowing this information may be beneficial to you and your family. Our team will assess your personal and family history of cancer and other factors that may modify your risk. Topics discussed, yet are not limited to:

  • The role of cancer genetics
  • The chance cancer is hereditary in your family
  • The emotional issues of knowing your cancer risk
  • Cancer screening and testing options
  • Possible ways to reduce your cancer risk
  • Risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing for certain cancers
  • Benefits of genetic testing for you and your family
  • Laws against genetic discrimination and insurance coverage
  • Current research in cancer genetics and clinical protocols


Who should consider Cancer Genetic Counseling?

If you or a blood relative have:

  • Considered genetic testing for cancer risk assessment and prevention
  • Had cancer before age 50
  • Had ovarian cancer
  • Multiple family members with the same or related cancers (e.g. breast/ovarian or colon/endometrial)
  • Had bilateral cancer or multiple primary (new) cancers
  • Had colon cancer or multiple colon polyps
  • Had a rare cancer (e.g. male breast cancer, sarcoma, medullary thyroid cancer)
  • An identified genetic syndrome or gene mutation associated with an increased risk for cancer (e.g. BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch Syndrome, PTEN, Li-Fraumeni, MEN1/2)

Are there benefits to learning about my genetic risk?

Yes. Options for cancer screening and prevention are available for many types of cancer. Some of these services are only offered to individuals known to be at high risk. Genetic counseling and/or genetic testing may help you decide which, if any, of these options you want to pursue. Other benefits:

  • Increased screening can help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage, improving outcome.
  • Risk-reduction strategies may prevent disease.
  • Certain medicines may prevent cancer from developing.
    • Genetic testing may help with cancer treatment plans.
    • 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 mission is to help identify individuals and families with a hereditary predisposition to cancer. Through personalized risk assessment and manage­ment recommendations, we hope to empower patients to take action to reduce their cancer risk and potentially prevent cancer in their family. We offer our patients and their families the following services:

    • 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 and cancer screening recommendations
    • Information and opportunities to participate in cancer genetics research and clinical protocols
    • The familiar compassion and excellence known of Saint Francis Hospital

    To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the Cancer Genetics Program, contact our coordinator at (516) 325-7533 or email:  


    The Cancer Institute a St. Francis Hospital
    2200 Northern Boulevard, Suite 111
    East Hills, NY 11548 


    • Take the Long Island Expressway (495) to Exit 39N (Glen Cove Road)
    • Take Glen Cove Road north approximately two miles
    • Turn LEFT onto Northern Boulevard (Rte. 25A West)
    • Turn Left into East Hills Business & Medical Park
    • We are located directly across from the Nassau County Museum of Art
    • Pass the security booth and proceed to Parking Lot and Entrance D
    • Check in at Suite 100A, the Infusion Center, on your right upon entering the building