The Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics at Lynn Cancer Institute
provides expert genetic counseling and testing. Using detailed family
history and the latest genetic tests, our team can help reduce cancer’s
impact on you and your family.
Inherited genetic mutations cause approximately 5 to 10 percent of cancers.
Our genetics program at Lynn Cancer Institute can help identify if you
have an inherited risk for developing cancer.
If we find that you have an inherited cancer risk, we can work with you
to develop a personalized screening and prevention plan.
Who benefits from the cancer genetics program?
Family history can play an important role in cancer risk. With that in
mind, you should consider genetic counseling and testing if:
- Two or more of your close blood relatives have had cancer, especially breast,
ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, uterine or kidney cancer.
- The same type of cancer has occurred in more than one relative on the same
side of the family.
- A family member has had more than one type of cancer.
- A family member under age 50 has been diagnosed with cancer.
- A family member has been diagnosed with a rare cancer or tumor.
- A family member has had two or more separate tumors occur in the same organ
(for example, breast cancer in both breasts).
You may also want to consider genetic testing if you’ve been diagnosed
with multiple types of cancer or if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer
before age 50. Certain ancestry groups, such as those with Ashkenazi Jewish
heritage, may also be more likely to have inherited cancer risk.
Depending on your risk factors and genetic test results, we may recommend
testing your family members, as well.
Why should I have genetic testing?
If you’re thinking about genetic testing, it’s important to
have genetic counseling first. Meeting with a genetics expert can help
you understand the pros and cons of testing.
If you decide after counseling that genetic testing is right for you, the
results can help your care team:
- Develop a more rigorous screening plan that will help your doctor find
and detect signs of cancer earlier. When cancer is caught early, it is
more likely to be at a treatable or curable stage.
- Prevent certain deadly cancers, such as ovarian cancer, using preventive surgery.
- Identify which family members or offspring may have an increased cancer
risk, helping reduce cancer's impact on their lives.
- Determine personalized therapy options that may be more effective in treating
your specific type of cancer.
- Learn more about inherited cancer risk, which can contribute to research
and improved treatments for future patients.
What does the Lynn Cancer Institute genetics program offer?
Our program has access to all of the latest genetic testing technology
and we can provide detailed results that include up-to-date data on gene
Our highly skilled experts understand how to interpret these complex test
results. We’ll explain the results with you in detail and help you
make a more informed decision about your care.
If you’re already being treated at Lynn Cancer Institute, our experts
may be a part of your multidisciplinary team. Since certain types of cancer,
like breast cancer, are more likely to run in families, we’ll gather
your family history and determine if you or your family may benefit from
What can patients expect when they come for genetic counseling and testing?
Before your first appointment with our team, we’ll ask you to provide
your family history and personal health background. We’ll use an
online program that will allow you to do this from home.
When we meet with you, we’ll go over all of this information and
discuss whether you may have an inherited cancer risk. If we think testing
might be right for you, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of testing.
If you decide to have testing, we’ll ask you to provide a saliva
or blood sample. You can provide this during the appointment or we can
send a saliva sample kit to your home.
Most genetic test results take between two and four weeks. Once we have
the results, we’ll meet with you to go over them in detail. We’ll
talk about what they mean, whether there is an increased risk for cancer,
and whether other family members should undergo testing.
If we find you have an inherited cancer risk, we’ll work directly
with you and your doctor to develop a personalized prevention and screening plan.
When you come to the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics at Lynn
Cancer Institute, you can expect:
- Genetics experts who are highly skilled at interpreting test results.
- A compassionate team that will help make sure you understand the testing
process, results and any preventive steps you need to take.
Collaboration with your doctor on a screening and prevention plan.
Will insurance cover genetic testing?
In most cases, insurance will cover genetic testing. However, it’s
important to always check with your insurance provider on any potential
If I tested negative in the past for a genetic mutation, should I get re-tested?
If you underwent genetic testing before 2014, you may want to talk to your
doctor about getting re-tested. Several new genes were added to the test
in 2014, and you may need to be tested for one of these newly discovered
If my family member tested negative for a gene mutation, should I still
If you suspect you may have an inherited risk for cancer, you should still
speak with a genetics expert even if a close family member tested negative
for a gene mutation. Many of these genes may affect some immediate relatives
but not affect others. For example, a sister may have a mutation but a
brother doesn’t. It’s important to speak to someone about
your individual risk.
Meet the team
Our team includes:
Genetic testing research
Our team is involved with the City of Hope Clinical Cancer Genomics Community
Research Network. All of our patients have the option to participate in
this research by submitting their genetic test results and health information.
By participating, you can contribute to research that may lead to breakthroughs
in cancer prevention, screening and treatment. As part of this network,
we can also access new information about genetic mutations and their link
Make an appointment with the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics
If you would like to meet with our genetics team, you can request an appointment
by calling 561-955-GENE (4363).