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Genetic Counseling and Testing

Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling and Testing

If you're at high risk for breast cancer, you may benefit from genetic counseling and testing. Our board-certified genetic counselors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center follow the gold-standard guidelines set by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

With breast cancer, the most common genetic test is for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Although other genes may play a role in developing breast cancer, having genetic counseling first can help you determine the best testing option.

You may have increased risk for breast cancer if you have:

  • A first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) or multiple second- or third-degree relatives (grandparent, aunt or cousin) under the age of 60 who were diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Multiple relatives on the same side of your family (maternal or paternal) who developed breast cancer before age 50
  • Relatives with both breast and ovarian cancer

Your genetic counseling visit

You can bring immediate family members with you to ask questions and take notes. During your complimentary counseling session, your counselor will:

What to expect during genetic testing

Testing begins at our office, where we take a small sample of your blood and send it to the lab. We'll receive the results in about 4 weeks.

It’s best to test the specific genes relevant to breast cancer. Testing for a wider variety of genes makes it more likely to find additional genetic changes. While these changes may not mean you will develop breast cancer or any other type of cancer, the results may affect your or your children’s options for future care. You and your genetic counselor will discuss which genes to test.

Genetic testing results

As part of our National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center level of care, we meet with you in person to interpret your results, explain any changes we find in your genetic test and show you where the gene is located. You’ll learn what it means for you and your family members and who else in your family should be tested.

Reviewing results usually takes about 30 minutes. You’ll also receive a copy of the results to take home.

KU Cancer Center physician meeting with patient prior to cancer treatment.

Your best option for beating cancer

The Women’s Cancer Center at The University of Kansas Cancer Center focuses on breast and gynecologic cancers, providing specialized care to women.

Our difference

Request your appointment today.

To make an appointment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, call 913-588-1227.

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