Our board-certified genetic counselors provide consultation, risk-assessment, and genetic testing for cancer predisposition conditions for people who have a strong personal or family history of certain types of cancer. Identifying a hereditary genetic cause for cancer in a family allows for increased monitoring and earlier detection for at-risk family members. 

What to expect in your cancer genetic counseling appointment

Our clinic in the BMC Cancer Center is staffed by licensed and board-certified genetic counselors who review your medical information and detailed family history, then perform an assessment to determine if a hereditary cancer predisposition may be increasing the risk for certain types of cancer in your family. We'll make appropriate screening and surveillance recommendations, and we may discuss genetic testing, including possible results and their meanings. The cost of genetic testing and insurance coverage can also be reviewed.

In preparation, please gather your family history of cancer information, including exact types of cancer and approximate ages of diagnosis, as well as any genetic test reports from family members who previously had genetic testing.

Patients should allow one hour for the appointment. Consultations are provided via telemedicine (phone and video available) or in person at the Moakley Building, 3rd floor (Suite 3200), at 830 Harrison Avenue on the Boston Medical Center main campus.

Common reasons for cancer genetics referral

  • You have/had colon, ovarian, pancreatic, uterine, stomach, or metastatic prostate cancer, or you have a close relative with one of these cancers
  • You have/had with breast cancer under the age of 50 or multiple breast cancers
  • You have a close relative who had breast cancer under the age of 50
  • You have a total of 10 or more gastrointestinal polyps
  • You have multiple close family members diagnosed with breast, colon, uterine, or gastrointestinal cancers, especially if any family members have been diagnosed with these cancers before the age of 50
  • Other cancer history: Talk to your doctor about whether a genetics referral is needed

What is genetic testing?

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Our High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic

The BMC Cancer Center now offers a weekly High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic. The clinic is staffed by both genetic counselors and medical doctor providers to help high-risk patients who have already undergone genetic counseling and testing. Our aim is to help patients better understand and navigate their cancer risks, and to help provide access to important screenings and referrals.

For more information, call Oncology Genetics at 617-638-6428. You may ask for an interpreter at this number.


The Cancer Genetic Counseling team at BMC

Claire Barton, MS, CGC

Page Brody, MS, CGC

Joselyn Diaz, MS, CGC

Lucas Pereira, MGCS, PLGC

Maggie Ruderman, MS, CGC


Cancer genetics referrals can be faxed to BMC Moakley Oncology Genetics at: 617-414-1558

For questions about your cancer genetics appointment, call 617-638-6428

Go back to BMC Cancer Center support services here.

For other types of genetic services at BMC, visit our Diagnostic Genetic Services page.