Genetic counseling at UF Health
Genetic counseling at UF Health helps patients and their families determine if they are at an increased risk to develop cancer.
Our board-certified genetic counselor is trained to identify high-risk families and help them understand their risk of developing cancer as well as their options for prevention, early detection, and treatment.
Since 2001, the genetic counseling team have been providing comprehensive cancer genetic services, including:
- Cancer risk assessment
- Pre-test education/counseling
- Genetic testing
- Interpretation of genetic test results
- Post-test education/counseling
- Personalized recommendations for cancer screening and risk reduction
Learn more about the benefits of genetic counseling from the National Society of Genetic Counselors website or by watching the video below.
How to be referred
Ask your healthcare provider to place a referral to the UF Health Cancer Center’s Hereditary Cancer Program.
Referrals from outside UF Health may be faxed to 352-265-8404. Refferals from UF Health providers should place an appointment request to “CANCER GENETICS-REF 226”.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred)
- Call: 352-265-9796
Preparing for your appointment
After your healthcare provider places the referral:
- Complete a family history questionnaire:
- Via an emailed secure online questionnaire
- or over the phone
- Provide us with copies of any previous genetic test results for you or any of your family members, by (a) emailing to email@example.com or (b) faxing to 352-265-8404.
- Then, the genetic counselor will review the completed information and previously ordered genetic tests to determine if genetic testing criteria is met. This helps us to determine the cost of genetic testing.
Confirming your appointment
A genetic counseling assistant will then contact you by email or phone to answer questions about cost for genetic testing and to schedule the appointment.
- Patients that meet genetic testing criteria pay $0-$100.
- Patients that do not meet genetic testing criteria pay $250.
There is no cost for the genetic counseling appointment.
Getting to your appointment
Please check in for your appointment at Medical Oncology on the 2nd floor of the Shands Medical Plaza at 1549 Gale Lemerand Drive in Gainesville.
IMPORTANT: Please don’t eat, drink, chew gum, etc. at least 30 minutes before the time of your appointment if you are planning on proceeding with genetic testing on the day of your visit.
See the UF Health Medical Oncology webpage for parking and driving instructions.
What to expect at your appointment
You will watch a short video explaining the genetic testing process for hereditary cancer risk.
A genetic counseling assistant will:
- Discuss the information in the video with you, including, the benefits, risks, limitations, and privacy considerations.
- Discuss the cost associated with genetic testing
- Review your options for genetic testing
- Provide you with the genetic counselor’s recommendations for cancer screening and risk reduction based on your personal and family history of cancer
- Give you the option to speak with a genetic counselor to answer any additional questions/address other concerns
- Obtain informed consent and collect the sample, if indicated.
Genetic testing is typically performed by collecting a saliva sample that is sent to a specialized clinical genetics laboratory for analysis. The average turn-around-time is 3 weeks. The average STAT turn-around-time is 2 weeks.
How test results are disclosed
All genetic test results are reviewed by the genetic counselor.
Negative test results
These are usually disclosed by phone by a genetic counseling assistant with the option to speak with the genetic counselor. However, depending on the complexity of the case, the genetic counselor may disclose negative test results by phone or request the patient return for an in person appointment.
Positive test results
Because of the implications for changes in medical management, including prevention, early detection, and treatment, the genetic counselor must meet with all patients with positive genetic test results in person.
Positive results are briefly disclosed by a genetic counseling assistant by phone and the patient is scheduled for an in person appointment with the genetic counselor.