Cancer Genetics Program

Medical research is quickly expanding our knowledge of cancer and genetics. We know that certain cancers are more likely to run in families. Approximately 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary. These include, but are not limited to, breast, colon, endometrial, melanoma, pancreatic, ovarian, and prostate cancers. We can test for genetic links to those cancers. Knowing your cancer risk factors, including genetics, can make a huge impact on your future health. It can promote the following:

  • Ways to reduce your risk of cancer
  • Early check ups and tests
  • Treatment choices

The end result? Peace of mind knowing you’re doing all you can to live a long healthy life. Please contact the CHI Health Cancer Genetics Program near you:

Who Should Consider Genetic Testing?

Not all cancers are inherited. Almost 90 percent of cancers are attributed to environmental factors, lifestyle choices or a combination of reasons. You may benefit from genetic counseling and testing for inherited cancer if your family history includes:

  • Cancer that occurs at an early age (50 or younger)
  • Two or more close relatives who have had the same type of cancer or related cancers
  • Cancer that has occurred in more than one generation
  • More than one cancer in the same family member, especially certain combinations such as cancers of the breast/ovary, colon/uterus or melanoma/pancreas
  • A close relative with a rare type of cancer or tumor such as male breast cancer
  • Cancer that develops in both breasts, both ovaries, both kidneys, etc.
  • Other factors associated with inherited cancers, such as multiple colon polyps

Our Genetics Team

Kate A. Hunley, APRN, WHNP-BC

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Lillian B. Simpson, APRN

Radiation Oncology,

Carrie Snyder, MSN, APRN-CNS, AGN-BC


Our Genetic Services Include:

  • Initial Assessment: Our first meeting lets us answer your questions and do a complete cancer risk assessment. We record your personal and family medical history. We also discuss inheritance patterns and risks. Based on this information, we can give advice for or against testing.
  • Genetic Education: Before testing, we meet with you to discuss the risks, benefits and limits of genetic testing. We also provide emotional support and answer any of your questions.
  • Test Coordination: We coordinate testing with the doctor and lab. We will notify you when test results are returned.
  • Education: After test results are available, we will set up a time to meet with you. We will go over the results and explain your options.
  • Referral and Resource Support: We will discuss your treatment choices, which may range from simple lifestyle changes to long term medical care which will need to be discussed with your doctor. We also offer emotional support and, will offer to explain the information to family members.
  • Insurance Plans: We will talk about insurance, privacy and genetic discrimination during our first meeting. Many health plans now cover genetic testing. We will also let you know of laws in place to make sure that you are not treated unfairly because of test results.
  • Confidentiality: We will manage your genetic testing information the same way we handle all patient information - with strict and complete confidentiality. No one will have access to information about your genetic testing without your written consent. We can also provide information about protections in place to ensure that employers and insurance companies do not discriminate based on the results of genetic testing.