Genetic Testing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a risk assessment appointment and what does it entail?

During a risk appointment, we will discuss your personal and family medical history and determine if you are at greater risk than most women for developing breast cancer and if so, how significant that risk is. We will discuss if you should consider genetic testing &/or other screening tests in addition to routine mammograms and come up with a personalized breast cancer screening plan.


How much does genetic testing cost? Will my insurance cover the cost of genetic testing?

If recommended, information regarding insurance coverage & potential out-of-pocket costs of genetic testing will be explained during your risk assessment appointment. Genetic testing will then be your decision after we have had the chance to talk about the test.


How long will the risk assessment appointment take?

Risk assessment appointments can last anywhere between 30-60 minutes but typically take 40-45 minutes.


I’ve already had a risk assessment &/or genetic testing a few years ago, do I need another one?

Our doctors recommend patients have a risk assessment every 3-5 years due to changing personal & family histories, insurance coverage of genetic testing, & additional genes associated with hereditary cancer discovered that you may not have been tested for.

It is also important to note that you could still be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, even if you have had a negative genetic test.  Additionally, all genetic tests are not the same, therefore, we will review and discuss your prior genetic test to see if additional testing is recommended. Therefore, it is important to bring a copy of your prior genetic test result with you, if possible, to your risk assessment appointment.


How or when is the sample collected for genetic testing?

If genetic testing is recommended and you wish to move forward, we will collect your blood during your risk assessment appointment. It is essential that you stay well-hydrated prior to your appointment.


What information do I need to bring to this appointment?

Please come to this appointment with as much information as possible about the cancers in your family on both your mother’s & father’s sides. Cancers in close family members such as your mother, father, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, 1st cousins, great-grandparents, great-aunts, and great-uncles; where the cancer started; and the age of those affected, are most important in the evaluation.

Additionally, if you or a family member has had genetic testing, please bring a copy or picture of the results, if possible.


Do you do genetic testing for ____? (Alzheimer’s disease? Hereditary heart/cardiovascular disease? Epilepsy? Autism? Neurodevelopment disorders? Prenatal screening? Etc…)

The genetic test offered at The Breast Center is for hereditary cancer ONLY. If you are interested in having genetic testing for disorders other than hereditary cancer, we recommend you discuss your options with your primary care physician.

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