Center for Clinical Genetics
and Genomics

Cancer Genetics Clinic

About Us

The Cancer Genetics Clinic – a joint program of the UPMC Cancer Centers and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC – provides education and cancer risk assessment for individuals and their families that are concerned about the possibility of cancer and how genetic inheritance may play a role. In addition to providing genetic counseling and genetic testing when appropriate, the Cancer Genetics Program also offers a comprehensive cancer risk assessment that takes into account family history along with personal cancer-specific risk profiles, including environmental and lifestyle factors.  Understanding the individual cancer risks is important in taking the appropriate actions to reduce the risk of developing cancer, and implementing surveillance strategies to detect cancer at early stages.

Cancer Genetics Services

Cancer risk assessment begins with a detailed family cancer history to identify individuals and families at increased risk of having an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome, who would be appropriate candidates for genetic testing. Ideally, genetic testing is first performed on an affected, living person with a high pretest probability of carrying a germline mutation. The Cancer Genetics team identifies key family members for genetic testing and facilitates communication among relatives with strict attention to confidentiality. 

In the absence of an identified mutation in a cancer predisposition gene, cancer risk assessment may be performed using the individual’s family history and personal risk profile.

Cancer Risk Management

Individuals who are at higher risk of developing certain cancers due to a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome are recommended to follow high-risk cancer surveillance and management, which might include intensive screening, risk-reducing surgery, risk-reducing medications, and lifestyle modifications. Individuals who do not have a hereditary cancer predisposition, but who are at increased risk of developing certain types of cancers due to a combination of factors, also benefit from risk-appropriate management recommendations. 

Research and Continued Medical Education

In addition to providing expert clinical consultation in cancer genetics and cancer risk assessment, the Cancer Genetics Program strives to advance the understanding of cancer genetics and management of people and families with hereditary cancer risk.  The program also provides training and continuing medical education to medical professionals.

See “Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer” at the CME UPMC Physician Resources.

Contact Information

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
300 Halket St.- Room 4680
Pittsburgh, PA 15213