Genetic Cancer Risk Evaluation and Cancer Genetic Testing

You can take a proactive approach to managing or preventing cancer by undergoing a Cancer Genetic Risk Evaluation. In addition to determining the level of risk of specific cancers, the evaluation includes counseling and education regarding risk, medical management recommendations and if appropriate, genetic testing.

You may benefit from a cancer genetic risk assessment if you have a personal and/or family history of:

  • Cancer at a young age, i.e. breast, uterine, or colon cancer before 50
  • Triple negative breast cancer before age 60
  • More than one breast cancer with 1st diagnosis before 50
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Personal history of breast and ovarian cancer at any age
  • Male breast cancer or aggressive prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Ashkenazim Jewish heritage with a history of breast, ovarian or pancreas cancer
  • Personal history of uterine and colon cancer at any age
  • More than 10 colon polyps
  • More than two melanomas, especially if 1st diagnosis before 50
  • More than one cancer diagnosis in one person
  • Multiple generations of family members with similar cancers

Did You Know....

Most cancers are not inherited; they usually develop sporadically, most often in older adults. Approximately 10% of the time, however, inherited gene alterations (mutations) are the reason a cancer develops. Genetic testing is useful in determining whether a mutation increasing the risk of cancer is present.

Learn more about genetic cancer risk evaluations and cancer genetic testing by watching the video below.

Next Steps

Scheduling Your Consultation

The first step is to obtain a referral from one of your physicians. After your referral is received, you will be contacted by Jete Imwalle, Program Assistant. Jete will ask you to complete a questionnaire documenting your personal medical history and your family cancer history. Once your questionnaire is returned, Ms. Imwalle will go over any questions and discuss insurance coverage for genetic services. She will then schedule your consultation.

Your Cancer Genetic Risk Evaluation

Your initial visit (approximately 90 minutes) is a consultation with our genetic counselor, Kathleen Mott. Ms. Mott will review your personal and family history in detail. She will explain how this information is used to assess your risk of developing cancer and whether genetic testing is recommended for you or another family member. If genetic testing is recommended, Ms. Mott will describe possible test results and the implication of test results for you and your family members. Following the information and education about hereditary cancer and genetic testing, you will decide whether you want to undergo testing. Genetic testing is a personal decision....it is never required.

If genetic testing is not appropriate, Ms. Mott will explain why. She will provide individualized medical management recommendations based upon your risk evaluation.

Genetic Testing

If testing is suggested and you are ready to proceed, you will be asked to supply a small blood or saliva sample to obtain your DNA. Your sample will be collected on site and then sent to a specialty laboratory. The laboratory will analyze your sample looking for mutations (alterations) in your DNA. Depending on the number of genes analyzed, and insurance requirements, test results arrive on average, in two to four weeks. When results become available, you will return to have a second meeting with Ms. Mott (30-60 minutes depending on the result). During this visit, your results will be explained, questions answered and specific medical management recommendations provided. Examples may include increased cancer screening exams (i.e., breast MRI, more frequent colonoscopies), risk-reducing medication and in some cases, consideration of preventive surgery.

About This Program

About Kathleen Mott

Kathleen Ann Mott is a Registered Nurse (RN) who holds a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN). Ms. Mott is a board-certified Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC); she is credentialed as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics (APNG). She is an expert in the field of cancer genetics. Ms. Mott was the thirty-seventh nurse in the nation to receive the prestigious APNG credential. She has provided cancer genetic risk assessment services for Redwood Regional Medical Group, now St. Joseph Health Regional Cancer Care, since 2008. For more information on Ms. Mott click here.

About This Program

In 2014, 263 individuals were referred to Ms. Mott, 123 of which went through genetic testing, and 12 pathogenic (cancer-causing) mutations were found. To learn more about cancer genetic risk evaluations click here.

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Genetic Counseling

Meet Our Providers

Kathleen Mott, MS, RN, NP-BC, APNG (707) 525-6180
Genetics - Cancer

Please call Kathleen's office for current office hours.

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Office :
St. Joseph Health Medical Group
121 Sotoyome Street
Suite 203
Santa Rosa, CA 95405