Cancer Call(800) 752.9119

Confidential help for all your cancer questions - clinical trials, support groups, specialist referrals and more.

(Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Genetic Counseling

The OhioHealth Genetic Counseling Program

GeneticsWhen several family members experience the same or related cancers, there is an increased likelihood that the risk for cancer is inherited. The only way to know for sure is through a cancer risk assessment with a genetic counselor.

The OhioHealth Genetic Counseling Program provides a comprehensive and informative hereditary cancer risk assessment. We provide the expertise and caring support to help identify if the cancer in your family is hereditary and to help you and your physician make choices for your best ongoing care.

To schedule an appointment, please complete a medical and family history questionnaire online. We will call you to schedule your appointment after your history information is submitted.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (614) 788.4640.

About Hereditary Cancer 

What is hereditary cancer?

Hereditary cancer results from changes in the genetic information (our genes) that is passed from parents to their children.

  • Individuals with an inherited gene mutation have an increased risk of developing cancer.
  • 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary (or 1 in 10 cancers).
  • However, a family history of cancer does not always mean that there is a hereditary risk for cancer in the family.

How do I know if I am at risk for hereditary cancer?

You might be at risk for hereditary cancer if you or your family has a history of:

  • Cancer diagnosed under the age of 50 years
  • More than one cancer in the same person
  • Two or more relatives with the same type of cancer on the same side of the family
  • Male breast cancer
  • Rare cancers
  • Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) ancestry
  • Clustering of cancer in a family (i.e. breast and ovarian or colorectal and uterine)

What to Expect

How do I prepare for my appointment? 

Collect information about family members who have had cancer. Include both sides of the family and several generations. Information to collect should include:

  • Type of cancer
  • Age at diagnosis
  • Cancer genetic test results

What will happen at my appointment? 

The goal of genetic counseling is to help you and your family understand:

  • The likelihood that the cancers in a family are hereditary
  • The risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing
  • Available screening and preventative options

If you proceed with genetic testing, we will assist with the lab work and processing.

After your appointment 

Following your appointment, you and your referring physician will receive a detailed letter that summarizes the information discussed. At your request, we will send a copy of this letter to other physicians or family members.

Genetic Counseling Frequently Asked Questions

Is genetic testing covered by insurance? 
Genetic counseling is billed as a facility fee and covered by most insurance plans (patient responsibility is usually similar to a specialty visit copay.) If you have questions regarding your coverage, please check with your insurance provider prior to your appointment.

How much does genetic testing cost? 
The cost of genetic testing varies based on the type of test ordered and laboratory performing testing. This can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Each laboratory has a policy in place that ensures you will be notified if your out of pocket cost is greater than a certain amount and will give you the opportunity to cancel testing if desired.

What if I do not have insurance? 
As a not-for-profit charitable organization, OhioHealth provides a generous charity care policy and provides a risk assessment regardless of a person’s ability to pay. If testing is recommended, additional programs may be available to cover some or all of testing costs.

Can I be denied health insurance if I’m at risk for a hereditary disease? 
No. There are state and federal laws in place to protect you. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law passed in 2008. GINA applies to both group health insurance plans and self-insurance plans.

What about disability and life insurance discrimination? 
There are no laws protecting against disability and life insurance discrimination. Life insurance companies could use genetic test results to determine rates. These companies do ask for your personal and family history information to determine your risk level. Some people consider obtaining life insurance policies before having genetic testing.

Locations and Directions

OhioHealth offers Genetic Counseling and Testing at five locations in Columbus, Marion and Delaware, Ohio.
Additional locations will be coming soon to Mansfield and Athens, Ohio. 

Click the map below to find the location nearest you.

Find a Genetic Testing and Counseling Location

Patient Testimonial

“The professionals in the OhioHealth Genetic Counseling Program were educated, respectful, patient and understanding as they answered my many questions in a quiet, non-stressful and comfortable atmosphere. They helped me decide what was best for me. I am very thankful for the opportunity to hear my test results in the same calming environment. Because of the knowledge and support provided to me and my family, I am confident my decision to use the services of the OhioHealth Genetic Counseling Program was the best choice for me.”

- Lisa Porter, Genetics Patient