Genetic testing

Sarah Canon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctor's Hospital

Approximately 5 to 10 percent of individuals with cancer have a hereditary form of cancer or predisposition to cancer. This is the result is the result of changes in genetic information that then predisposes a person to certain types of cancer. These changes in your genes can be passed on from generation to generation.

The Cancer Genetics Clinic at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital is designed to educate and counsel women and men about their individual risk for certain cancers based on their family cancer history. Identifying these causes of certain hereditary cancers and genetic disorders helps doctors find ways to manage a person’s risk of cancer and ability to treat hereditary cancer syndromes.

If you meet specific criteria for testing, our DNA testing specialists will collect a sample of your blood or saliva and send it to a special genetic laboratory for testing. Following testing or counseling, the clinic will develop a plan to help reduce your risk for cancer and begin or continue screenings for early detection of cancer.

Contact us

An appointment with the Cancer Genetic Clinic requires a physician referral. Physicians can refer patients to our clinic, and we will call the patient to schedule an appointment for DNA testing.

Cancer Genetics Clinic Testing Criteria

One or more of the following criteria must apply to you to qualify for genetic testing at the Cancer Genetics Clinic at Henrico Doctors' Hospital:

  • You received a diagnosis of breast cancer when you were under the age of 50
  • You have had breast cancer in more than one area of the breast or in both breasts
  • You have multiple close blood relatives with breast cancer on the same side of the family
  • You are a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • You have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer (any age) or you have a first-degree relative who had ovarian cancer
  • You have been diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer or you have a first degree relative who was diagnosed with both cancers
  • You are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and had breast cancer under the age of 50, ovarian cancer or male breast cancer at any age
  • A BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been identified in your family
  • You received a diagnosis of colon cancer when you were under the age of 50
  • You received a diagnosis of endometrial (uterine) cancer when you were under the age of 50
  • You have multiple first- or second-degree relatives who have had colon, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, small bowel, pancreatic, or ureter or renal pelvis cancer
  • You have received lab test results on a colon or an endometrial tumor that indicated proteins are absent or unstable on four different genes
  • A MLH1, MSH2, MSH5, or PMS2 gene mutation has been identified in your family
  • You have had 10 or more colorectal polyps of any histology
  • You have multiple close blood relatives with prostate cancer (especially if diagnosed under the age of 60)
  • You have three close blood relatives with melanoma or pancreatic cancer
  • You have a close blood relative who has been affected by multiple melanomas
  • You were diagnosed with sarcoma or brain or adrenal cancer before the age of 45
  • You have close blood relatives who were diagnosed with sarcoma, leukemia, breast, brain or adrenal cancer at any age