For more information or to make an appointment, call (845) 483-6667.

Cancer Risk Assessment

A Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment can help you, your family and your physicians make important decisions about your health.

Although most cancers are not hereditary, genetics play an important role in assessing cancer risk for individuals with a personal or family history of the disease. In some families, a predisposition to cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next.

The Health Quest Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program can provide genetic counseling for you and your family to clarify your risk and/or help guide your medical decisions.

Our Genetic Counselors can:

  • Help you understand your cancer risk
  • Provide information about screening and prevention options
  • Explain how genetic test results may help you make treatment decisions if you have been diagnosed with cancer

You should talk to your doctor about a referral for an appointment if:

  • Cancer appears at an early age in your family (for example, breast, uterine or colon cancer before age 50)
  • There is a personal or family history of a rare cancer (for example, medullary thyroid cancer, adrenocortical tumor, ovarian cancer or male breast cancer)
  • Multiple relatives on the same side of the family have developed the same or related cancers (such as a woman with colon and endometrial cancer, or an individual with primary colon and stomach cancer
  • An individual family member has had two or more types of cancer
  • Someone in your family has had a positive genetic test for hereditary cancer
  • Personal or family history of certain non-malignant findings:
    • Multiple (>10) colon polyps
    • Desmoid tumor(s)
    • Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma

Thorough, compassionate consultation

We will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and return it to us prior to your appointment so that we can prepare for your visit. Because your family's medical history is key in your evaluation, we advise that you talk to relatives prior to your appointment to get specifics:

  • Type of cancer
  • Pathology reports if available
  • Age at diagnosis
  • Genetic test results for any family member who has already had testing

At your appointment, you will meet with one of our genetic counselors for approximately one hour to assess your family history and discuss testing options. Our counselors will provide education and support to help guide you through the testing process, and they are always available to answer any questions that you, your family members or your doctors may have. After your consultation, we will send you a summary letter for your records.

Simple test, powerful information

You may elect to proceed with genetic testing the same day as your consultation. The test itself is relatively simple, involving either a blood draw or obtaining a saliva sample. You do not need to fast for the blood draw, but if you elect to have a saliva sample taken, we ask that you not eat or drink one hour before your appointment.

Because results can sometimes be complicated, you will meet with your genetic counselor at a follow-up appointment to discuss results, estimate cancer risks for you and your family and review information on screening and prevention options. If you are ultimately found to carry a genetic change (mutation) that increases your cancer risk, we can help you understand the implications of the test results and find the resources that you need to best manage your risk.

Knowledge is power. Take the first step by calling Health Quest today.

Most major insurance is accepted. Please contact your insurance carrier concerning coverage and precertification requirements. A doctor's referral is required.

For your convenience, appointments are held at Vassar Brother's Medical Center and Putnam Hospital Center

Cancer support resources