Genetic Testing at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Who Is a Good Candidate for Genetic Testing? And How It Can Help Those At Risk for Certain Cancers

Genetic testing is being conducted at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Rachel Silva-Smith is a genetic counselor with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information about cancer genetic counseling and testing, click here to visit the UHealth health news blog.


Are you or your children at an increased risk for breast cancer and other related cancers? It’s important to find out because steps can be taken to prevent or detect it early.

Rachel Silva-Smith, a genetic counselor at Sylvester, explains what genetic testing is and who is a good candidate.

“Genetic testing is the process of examining the genes that you were born with,” says Silva-Smith. “That’s typically done through a blood sample or saliva sample, to see if you’ve inherited any genetic predisposition to cancer.”

“Genetic testing can be indicated in many different scenarios,” Silva-Smith goes on to say. “One that’s really important is any woman who’s diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 or under. If a woman is diagnosed at age 60 or under, they typically have to have a specific type of breast cancer, known as triple-negative breast cancer. Any woman who is Ashkenazi Jewish and has breast cancer. Any male with breast cancer, also qualifies for genetic testing. And if you see three cases of breast cancer on the same side of the family.”

She explains why it is important to undergo genetic counseling and testing at Sylvester.

“We have a team of genetic specialists who would follow you in terms of increasing your screening and possibly any preventative surgeries you may need, so it’s really comprehensive care at Sylvester,” says Silva-Smith.


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