Genetic Counseling

The Cancer Genetics Program of Greenville Health System's Cancer Institute is led by Dr. Carla Jorgensen and staffed by two board-certified genetic counselors. The goals of the program are to identify individuals and families who are at increased risk for hereditary cancer; offer options for genetic testing, screening, and medical management based on the individual and family histories; and reduce the chance for developing certain types of cancer by individualizing screening and risk-reduction plans.

GHS' Cancer Institute is the only facility in Greenville to have board-certified genetic counselors who provide this service for all potentially inherited cancers. To make an appointment, please request that your physician refer you for cancer genetic counseling. Click here to download the referral form. To contact the Cancer Genetics Program, call (864) 455-5836.

Cancer Genetics Program
GHS Cancer Institute
900 W. Faris Rd, 1st floor
Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 455-5836
(864) 455-5897

Monday Medical Minute

Lindsay Metcalf discusses the Genetic Counseling Program on the Monday Medical Minute. Listen in!

What happens on your initial visit with a genetic counselor?

  • Detailed information will be gathered about who in the family has had cancer, what types of cancer, and what ages of diagnosis
  • Assessment of the likelihood that a hereditary cancer syndrome may be responsible for the cancer in your family
  • Discussion of your risk for developing cancer, options for surveillance and risk-reduction
  • Review benefits, limitations and risks of genetic testing and help you make the right decision about whether to pursue it

If testing is pursued, the genetic counselor will answer questions regarding how the test is performed, information related to the lab(s) that perform(s) the test, including the cost and how to determine if insurance is likely to cover the test, the possible outcomes and implications of test results, and how results will be disclosed. If an individual is found to carry an inherited risk factor, the genetic counselor will assist the individual in locating other specialists that can help in understanding and managing his/her risks.

The following histories indicate referral for genetics consultation:

Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer diagnosed <50 years
  • Breast cancer at any age with family history of: 1 relative with breast cancer <50 years, 1 relative with ovarian cancer, OR 2 close relatives with breast or pancreatic cancer at any age
  • Breast cancer with any of the following: sarcoma, non-medullary thyroid, adrenocortical, endometrial, pancreatic, diffuse gastric cancers, brain tumors, leukemia/ lymphoma, macrocephaly, dermatologic findings specific to Cowden syndrome
  • Triple negative breast cancer at any age
  • Two breast primaries at any age
  • Family history of first or second degree relative with: breast cancer <45 years, 2 breast cancers at any age on the same side of the family
  • Known gene mutation in the family
  • Male breast cancer

Female Cancer

  • Ovarian cancer at any age
  • Endometrial cancer <50 years
  • Known gene mutation in the family

Colon Cancer/Polyps

  • Colon or rectal cancer diagnosed <50 years
  • Colorectal cancer with a first-degree relative with Lynch-syndrome related cancer when one diagnosed <50 years
  • >10 adenomatous colon polyps
  • Colorectal cancer and 2 first- or second-degree relatives with Lynch-syndrome related cancers at any age
  • Colorectal cancer with MSI-H histology <60 years
  • Known gene mutation in the family

First-degree relative: parent, sibling, child

Second-degree relative: aunt/ uncle, niece/nephew, half-sibling, grandchild, grandparent

Third-degree relative: great-grandparent, great-grandchild, great-aunt/uncle, cousin

Lynch-syndrome related cancers include colorectal, endometrial, gastric, ovarian, pancreas, ureter and renal pelvis, biliary tract, brain, small intestinal cancers; sebaceous gland adenomas and keratoacanthomas are seen in Muir-Torre syndrome

MSI-H histology includes presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, Crohn’s-like lymphocytic reaction, mucinous/signet-ring differentiation, or medullary growth pattern