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High-Risk Cancer Genetic Services

Amie Hass, ARNP, FNP-BC

Amie Hass,
ARNP, FNP-BC

When should you consider genetic testing?

Cancer is a common disease. However, some people have a greater chance of developing cancer. This may be due to gene changes that are passed through the family. Inherited gene changes are responsible for 5 to 10% of all cancers. You should consider cancer genetic testing if your personal or family history includes:

  • Cancer before age 50
  • Two or more different cancers in the same person
  • Two or more family members who have had the same type of cancer
  • Same type of cancer in several generations
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Eastern or Central European) with breast or ovarian cancer
  • Polyposis (multiple polyps in the colon or intestines)
  • Concern about developing cancer because of family history

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center’s High-Risk Genetic Nurse Practitioner helps patients and their loved ones understand cancer risk factors based on family history and genetics. Services available include:

Risk Assessment

Your initial consultation will include education and counseling about genetics and cancer. We will review your personal and family medical history. We provide information on the testing process, risks and benefits of testing, implications for family members, elements of informed consent, and a broad overview of the medical management options.

Testing Process

Our nurse practitioner can help determine if genetic testing is appropriate for you. We facilitate the testing process and discuss insurance coverage and pre-verification options. A small sample of blood or a mouth rinse or saliva sample are taken and sent to an outside lab for analysis. We will contact you when results are available.

Post-Testing Follow-Up

After test results are available, we will interpret the results and explain the implications. Based upon the family history and/or genetic test results, each patient receives information on the methods available to reduce their risk of cancer. This may include discussion of screening strategies, chemo prevention and prophylactic surgery. Long-term follow-up is available with our nurse practitioner for high risk patients.

Your test results will be shared with your primary care provider. If a referral is needed for additional services, we can help with that process.

Insurance

If genetic counseling is appropriate for you, we can work with you to gather detailed information about insurance coverage.

Confidentiality

There is current federal legislation that provides protection from genetic discrimination to individuals enrolled in group health insurance plans. The genetic counselor will provide you with information about genetic discrimination and review the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act with you before you have genetic testing.

Clinical Trials

Patients are often invited to participate in appropriate clinical genetic research and registries.

To learn more about Hall-Perrine Cancer Center’s High-Risk Cancer Genetic Services, call (319) 398-6732 or, for scheduling, call (319) 861-7778.

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Courageous Stories

Krista with her daughter

When 35-year-old Krista Barnell discovered a lump in her breast during a self-exam, she initially wrote it off. The healthy mother of two never imagined it was cancer. Read more on page 14 or watch her story on YouTube.

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