Ruth Paul Cancer Genetics & Prevention Service
Washington DC Cancer Genetic Counseling
We Offer Virtual Health Visits!
Please call (202) 741-2210 to request an appointment. Please note: You will be prompted to download the Zoom software to use on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The software is free and safe to use. Learn more about our virtual visits.
The Ruth Paul Cancer Genetics & Prevention Service, we work with patients who have a personal history of cancer as well as those who are at high risk for developing cancer because of a known genetic mutation and/or a strong family history of cancer. Our role is to help patients understand and manage their risk of cancer by providing hereditary cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling, genetic testing, and preventative care for high risk individuals.
Hereditary cancer risk is a rapidly growing field in medicine. The Ruth Paul Cancer Genetics & Prevention Service is dedicated to advancing our knowledge of hereditary cancer risk through medical research. Our program has a number of ongoing research studies in which our patients may participate.
Learn more about our Research.
What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates the following:
- Interpretation of personal and family medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence.
- Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research.
- Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.
(National Society of Genetic Counselors, 2009)
What to Expect During Your Visit
During the genetic counseling appointment:
- You will meet with a genetic counselor who will help you interpret your personal and family history.
- You will learn about the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing.
- If appropriate, the genetic counselor will facilitate testing and then meet with you again to discuss results and personalized cancer screening recommendations.
- Depending on your genetic testing results, you may be referred to other specialists including the High Risk Breast Care Clinic.
Would I Benefit from Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling may be important if any of the following is true about you or your family:
- You or a close relative have been diagnosed with cancer at a young age
- Multiple family members have been diagnosed with the same type of cancer
- You or a close relative have been diagnosed with more than one type of cancer
- There is a known cancer predisposing mutation (e.g. BRCA) in the family
- Offered to all known hereditary cancer mutation carriers
- Establishes coordinated care with providers of multiple specialties
- Provides a medical “home” for managing their cancer risk