At Baptist Health, at select breast imaging locations we offer genetic screening under the supervision of radiologist to help patients better understand their risk of developing cancer and to prevent or catch hereditary cancers at the earliest stages. The screening identifies gene mutations that put individuals at increased risk of cancer.

Qualifying patients receive counseling and education from our team of certified genetic specialists led by Louise Morrell, M.D., who conducts genetic research, cancer genetic risk assessments, and genetic testing.

What Risks Does Genetic Screening Assess?

Genetic screening assesses the clinical risk of mutations in 48 genes that puts individuals at increased risk of cancer, including the most common cancer types:
  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Endocrine
  • Endometrial
  • Gastric
  • Lung
  • Melanoma
  • Ovarian
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostate
  • Renal
  • Service Item
  • Skin

What Patients Qualify For Genetic Screening?

Any patient can be referred for genetic screening, but it’s especially important to screen patients with:

  • Personal history of:
    • Breast cancer at any age
    • Colon, rectal or uterine cancer at 64 or younger
    • Metastatic prostate cancer at any age
    • Ovarian cancer at any age
    • Pancreatic cancer at any age
  • Family history of:
    • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast cancer at any age
    • Breast cancer at 49 or younger
    • Genetic mutation found in a family member
    • Male breast cancer at any age
    • Metastatic prostate cancer at any age (1st degree relative)
    • Ovarian cancer at any age
    • Pancreatic cancer at any age (1st degree relative)
    • Three or more breast cancers in relatives on the same side of the family at any age
    • Three or more colon, rectal and/or uterine cancers on the same side of the family at any age
    • Two breast cancers in one relative at any age

Is Genetic Screening Effective?

Genetic screening can help patients better understand their risk of developing cancer and to prevent or catch hereditary cancers at the earliest stages, when the chances of survival are highest. Knowing you may have a tendency to develop a cancer can help direct appropriate medical management and make informed life decisions.

At Baptist Health, 60 percent of patients tested required a change in their medical management recommendations. More than half of the patients tested were either positive for a genetic mutation or were considered a high-risk negative.

To prevent and identify cancer early, patients who are at an increased risk may opt to consult with specialists, have preventive surgeries such as a prophylactic mastectomy, discuss risk-reducing medication and lifestyle changes and/or plan to have increased surveillance such as annual breast MRIs. Genetic testing results help ensure coverage for additional interventions.

How Does Testing Work?

If a patient chooses to proceed with genetic testing, a saliva or blood sample is collected on the same day as their breast imaging appointment. Our radiologists will then have the sample sent to Myriad Genetics, our lab partner, for testing and will indicate on the breast imaging report that genetic testing is underway. This keeps referring physicians apprised of their patient’s care plan. Results should be available within four weeks.

What Happens After The Sample Is Tested?

What Happens After The Sample Is Tested?

Results are delivered to patients via a telehealth or in-person appointment with one of our certified genetic specialists.

If the results show the presence of a genetic mutation that increases the risk of cancer, our specialists will assist in identifying appropriate medical management strategies. Results and treatment recommendations are shared with referring physicians and, if necessary, additional testing and treatment options are available through Baptist Health Cancer Care.

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Our team includes:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Genetic counselors are board-certified specialists who can assist in providing you and your family with information in the decision to get genetic testing. Genetic counseling can help you understand what your results might mean, your risk of developing cancer, and the options available to you.

  • Patients pay nothing out of pocket to have a sample collected, and many private health insurance plans will cover the cost of genetic testing for patients with a strong personal and/or history of cancer. Our lab partner, Myriad Genetics, has options available for uninsured patients or those with insurance that doesn’t 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 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.


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