Cancer Genetics

Genetic Counseling and Screening for Inherited Cancer Syndromes

Call for an Appointment 919-684-3181

You may be referred for or request genetic counseling or screening if you are at high risk for developing cancer. You may be at high risk if you have a family history of cancer, or you were diagnosed with cancer at a young age and your doctor is concerned that a genetic mutation may be present.

Our certified genetic counselors work closely with you to understand how your family history of cancer impacts your risk. They also assist with the genetic testing process. When the results come back, we may recommend providers during post-test counseling. This ensures that you are followed regularly and undergo appropriate screenings to detect cancer at its earliest stage.

Find a Cancer Genetics Doctor
Matching Results
Filter Results
Filter by:
Use My Current Location
Located Near You
Loading Results
Showing of Doctors
Load More View All


Initial Consultation

Your initial consultation takes about 45 minutes/ It includes a thorough review or discussion about your medical and family history. You will receive an email from before your visit with a link to a form that will ask for your family history information. If you don't have a computer or mobile device to fill out the online form, we can obtain the information over the phone. Ideally, we can review this information before your visit so that we can spend most of the visit asking and answering your questions.

Your initial visit may be performed via telehealth or in-person at one of our cancer clinics. Based on this visit, the counselor will determine which genetic testing, if any, should be performed.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing requires a special kit to collect saliva or blood. The samples are examined for the presence of genes or genetic mutations that may signal a predisposition to hereditary cancer syndrome. Saliva test kits can be sent to your home. Blood tests will take place during a lab visit at one of our clinics.

We test and provide a comprehensive risk assessment for dozens of hereditary cancer syndromes, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer (including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations), and colon cancer.

Receiving Your Test Results

It typically takes about two to three weeks to receive your results. We will call you once we receive them. If the results are positive, we will arrange a second visit to help you understand the results of your genetic tests as well as the emotional, psychological, and social implications. We help you plan the appropriate next steps. They may include a referral to a specialist who can coordinate an appropriate cancer screening schedule or treatment plan. We also discuss the next steps for family members who may be affected based on these results.

Our Locations

Genetic counseling and testing for inherited cancer take place via virtual visits or at our clinics in Raleigh and Durham.

Why Choose Duke

Specially Trained Genetic Cancer Counselors
Our board-certified genetic counselors are specially trained in medical genetics and counseling. They become your ongoing support resource for information about the risks and benefits of genetic testing, the consequences of knowing test results, and ensuring your genetic information remains private and confidential.

Virtual Visits Available
We often schedule virtual consultations and testing to be performed with kits sent to your home. In-person visits are also available.

No Referral Needed
If you would like to speak with a genetic counselor, we’ll do our best to schedule you as soon as possible. If you already have an appointment at the Duke Cancer Center, your genetic counselor may arrange to see you the same day you see your oncologist.

Ongoing Support
We offer access to national and international support groups for hereditary cancer syndromes through our cancer support programs. Or, view all of our cancer support groups on our event calendar.

Best Cancer Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cancer program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 01/26/2022