As our understanding of genetics and cancer expands, so do opportunities for genetic testing. At Rush’s Inherited Susceptibility to Cancer (RISC) Clinic, our highly trained genetic counselors and physicians will educate you about hereditary predisposition to cancer and the option of genetic testing for conditions that are related to colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancer or tumor types.
We will first gather information about your personal and family history. That information will be used to help determine if genetic testing is appropriate for you and which test is most appropriate. We will provide you with the information needed to make the best decision for yourself, including discussing the benefits, risks and limitations of testing.
If you decide to undergo testing, we will order the tests and review results with you — giving you the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions about your care.
What we test
Here are some examples of genetic conditions, the genes tested and related cancers:
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes): In addition to breast and ovarian cancer, these mutations are associated with melanoma, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome (TP53 gene): Related to breast cancer, soft-tissue and bone sarcomas, leukemia, brain tumors and other cancers
- Cowden syndrome (PTEN gene): Associated with breast cancer, thyroid cancer, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, and renal (kidney) cancer
- Lynch syndrome (MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, PMS2 and EPCAM genes): Related to colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (APC gene): Associated with colon and stomach polyps, colorectal cancer and cancer in the small intestine
- Von-Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL gene): Related to renal (kidney) cancer, meningiomas (benign tumors of the spinal cord and retina), pancreatic and renal (kidney) cysts, and pheochromocytomas (benign tumors of the adrenal gland)
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (RET gene): Associated with medullary thyroid cancer, parathyroid adenomas, and pheochromocytomas (benign tumors of the adrenal gland)
Excellence in Genetic Testing for Cancer
Experts in genetic counseling
Our highly trained genetic counselors are experts in medical genetics and genetic testing. They walk you through the complexities of hereditary predisposition to cancer, which accounts for approximately 5 to 10% of all cancers. They meet with you before and after testing, so you fully understand the implications of testing, what the findings mean for you and your family, and what screening and management options you may want to consider.
Leading-edge testing capabilities
Rush’s genetic experts keep pace with the fast-moving advances of genetic testing to bring you the most useful and current information possible. We give you the knowledge you need to help you make informed decisions about treatment and prevention strategies.
Emotional and psychological support
Genetic testing can be stressful and emotional for many people. Our specially trained counselors are dedicated to supporting and guiding you through this process with compassion, patience and understanding. They can also help guide you to psychosocial support available through the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program at Rush or support groups specifically for people who have a hereditary predisposition to cancer.
Access to innovative treatments
Our team is part of the Rush University Cancer Center and works closely with medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and researchers to bring you the latest advances in early detection, immunotherapy and surgery. Our cancer clinical trials offer opportunities to access novel treatments before they are widely available.
“When we meet with patients, we individualize that experience to each patient and answer questions with empathy and expertise.”
Kelly Burgess, MS, CGC
Senior Genetic Counselor