Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Genetic Counseling

Cancer results from an accumulation of genetic changes within a cell that allow uncontrolled cell growth. In the vast majority of cancers, these changes are not inherited but occur after birth due to random biological events and exposure to certain environmental agents.

Occasionally, families have a very strong cancer history suggesting that a major, inherited cancer predisposition gene is responsible. The most common inherited cancers include breast, ovarian and colon although other types exist.

The Stanford Cancer Center offers genetic counseling and genetic testing for individuals concerned about the risk of an inherited cancer predisposition.

Our services include individualized cancer risk assessments based on medical and family history, detailed discussion of options for genetic testing and recommendations for preventive screening and treatments.

Our team includes genetic counselors, oncologists and geneticists.

Genetic counseling involves a comprehensive personal risk analysis and education about the genetic mechanisms related to cancer.

If indicated, genetic testing is offered, but only after the benefits, risks and limits of each test are carefully considered. Choosing if and when to test is ultimately a very personal decision.

Stanford Expertise

Our goals are to educate people about familial cancer, provide clear options for medical or surgical interventions, and enhance the quality of life for high risk cancer families.

Counselors in the program can provide assistance with all hereditary cancers, but have particular expertise in the following:

Our Team

Contact Information

Phone:  (650) 498-6000

Fax:      (650) 498-5150


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