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 mutations.
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 genetic testing.
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.
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 to cancer.
If you would like to meet with our genetics team, you can request an appointment by calling:
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.
In most cases, insurance will cover genetic testing. However, it’s important to always check with your insurance provider on any potential out-of-pocket costs.
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 mutations.
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:
- Louise Morrell, MD
- Marlene E. Cepeda-Goodwin, registered physician assistant – certified
- Gloria Drummond Physical Rehabilitation Institute, 561-955-2100
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.