Genetic counseling

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we don't just treat illnesses, we aim to prevent them. We are proud to be one of the few health systems in the Chicago area with genetic counselors on staff who can help you identify if you are at risk for an inherited disease, and what options you have to manage or prevent it.

Whether you have a new diagnosis of cancer and are looking to make surgical management decisions; you have a personal history of cancer and are looking for guidance in regards to surveillance and future risks; or if you have a family history of cancer and are hoping to determine your personal risk of cancer, genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing may be a useful tool.

During a genetic counseling appointment, our genetic counselor will take a detailed family history and obtain personal medical information. After evaluating your personal and family history, we can determine if there is an increased risk for a hereditary cancer predisposition for you or your family. Our genetic counselor will discuss the testing options available and benefits, risks, and limitations of this testing. The goal is to provide you with information to help guide your health care management.

We also offer genetic counseling for cardiovascular, pediatric and prenatal disorders.

In order to determine if genetic counseling or testing is right for you, talk to your doctor or ask for a referral to meet with one of our genetic counselors:

Elyse Weber, MS (Edward)

Christina Lavin, MS (Elmhurst)

How is genetic testing performed?

In most cases, genetic testing consists of a simple blood draw or saliva sample. The sample is sent to a laboratory where technicians look for gene mutations. It is not necessary to fast before having blood drawn for a genetic test.

What is the cost of genetic testing and is it covered by health insurance?

The cost of genetic testing depends on the specific test that is ordered. For those individuals with suspicious personal or family histories, genetic testing is often covered by health insurance. If your genetic counselor recommends genetic testing, she will discuss with you the cost of testing, ways in which to check insurance coverage, and billing practices prior to testing being performed.

Where can I get more information about cancer and genetic testing for inherited cancer syndromes?

General information about genetic counseling can be found by visiting the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

General information about many different types of cancer can be found by visiting the American Cancer Society website.

Specific information about genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes can be found on the National Cancer Institute's website.