Hereditary Cancer Program
Our genetic counselors and physicians provide comprehensive cancer genetics services to patients of all ages.
Approximately 5 to 10 percent of cancers are associated with an inherited gene mutation. Genetic testing can help determine whether a mutation is the underlying cause of an individual’s cancer and whether they have a higher risk of developing additional cancers. Genetic testing also may be informative for individuals who do not have cancer but have a family history of cancer. Genetic test results have implications for other family members as well.
Since 1998, our licensed and certified genetic counselors and physicians have been providing comprehensive cancer genetics services. These include cancer risk assessment, pre-test counseling, genetic testing, post-test counseling and personalized recommendations for cancer screening and risk reduction.
- Please ask your UC Davis healthcare provider to place a referral to the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Hereditary Cancer Program. Many insurance plans require a referral from the patient’s primary care doctor to cover the appointment.
- For self-referrals and any questions, please call us at 916-734-5959, option 7.
- Diagnosis of cancer prior to age 50
- More than one relative with the same or related cancers
- Individuals with more than one primary cancer
- A relative who carries a mutation for hereditary cancer
- Diagnosis of rare or unusual cancers in the family
- Diagnosis of certain cancers along with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
- Multiple precancerous colon polyps found on colonoscopy
- A parent who carries a mutation that confers cancer risk in childhood
- Diagnosis of specific tumors that are more likely to have an inherited basis, such as sarcomas or certain brain tumors
- Diagnosis of typically adult-onset cancers in childhood
- A child with cancer and history of delayed milestones
- During a genetic counseling session, the genetic counselor will ask you questions about your medical history and your family’s cancer history. This information helps estimate the chance that you or your family could have an inherited gene mutation that causes a higher risk of developing cancer.
- You may be offered genetic testing depending on your personal or family history of cancer. If so, the genetic counselor will explain the risks, benefits, limitations and implications of genetic testing so you can make an informed decision.
- If testing is indicated, cost, insurance coverage and privacy considerations will be discussed.
- Genetic testing is typically performed by drawing one tube of blood for analysis. A follow up appointment will be scheduled with your genetic counselor to review the results.
- We look forward to seeing you for your hereditary cancer evaluation. We strongly encourage you to complete the family history questionnaire and return it to us prior to the visit so that your genetic counselor can prepare your personalized risk assessment.
- If you prefer, you may complete a paper copy and fax it to us at 916-457-4531
- Family History Questionnaire (paper copy)
- It may help to contact other family members to confirm details. Not every question needs to be answered, but please do provide total numbers of relatives (including people without cancer), cancer diagnoses, and ages of diagnosis. Names for each family member are not needed.
- If you, your child, or another family member has had genetic testing (excluding ancestry-type testing), please bring a copy of their test results to the appointment.
- We contract with an outside vendor to gather and organize the family history information necessary to provide this service. As a result, please be aware that you may receive reminder emails directly from this vendor.
- Our clinic scheduler will determine prior to your appointment whether or not the appointment is covered by your health insurance and if a pre-authorization is needed. Please click here for more information about insurance and billing at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- Insurance coverage for genetic testing varies among health insurance policies. Insurance coverage for genetic testing is also separate from the genetic counseling visit and will be determined at the time of the appointment. Most laboratories offer reduced fees depending on financial need; please bring this up with your genetic counselor.
- Consultations with the Hereditary Cancer Program are confidential and protected under the federal HIPAA law.
- In 2011, a state law called the California Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (CalGINA) was passed to provide additional protection against genetic discrimination.