Support Programs

Genetic Counseling / High Risk Cancer Assessment Program

Are You at High Risk for Cancer?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should consider having your cancer risk examined. Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center offers a High Risk Cancer Assessment Program that is designed to evaluate, educate and closely monitor individuals who are at high risk for developing cancer. Please click here to have a program representative contact you.
Additional information on hereditary risk for cancer is available from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and the National Society of Genetic Counselors

Making Informed Choices About Cancer Risk

The High Risk Cancer Assessment Program was created for individuals and families who are concerned about their risk of developing cancer due to their medical and family history, environmental factors and lifestyle choices. Its main goal is to educate and provide cancer screening and prevention recommendations for individuals at high risk for developing the disease.

Sherry GrumetThe program helps patients and their families confronting cancer risks to make informed decisions about their health care needs by providing them with appropriate medical and genetic information, social support and resources. A high risk team works closely with each patient to develop a personal health plan and to educate him or her about individual risk factors. Led by board certified genetic counselor Sherry Grumet, M.S., C.G.C., who leads the program, the team is comprised of expertly qualified medical, gynecologic and surgical oncologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, psychologists, pathologists, radiologists and other health care professionals.

The Benefits of Cancer Assessment Services

Since early detection or prevention of cancer is our goal, it is important to first being aware of your risk for developing the disease.

Under High Risk Cancer Assessment Program, your personal and family medical history will be evaluated by a board-certified oncology genetic counselor, who will explain the risks for certain types of cancer for you and your family members. Options for genetic testing, cancer prevention and medical surveillance will be explained in detail.

Learning of an increased cancer risk has psychological and medical implications. The genetic counselor will explain all of your options, including the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of genetic testing. Making decisions about genetic testing, cancer surveillance and prevention is complex — counseling can help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family.

The Genetic Counseling and Testing Process

This process has many steps to ensure that each patient has a full understanding of their cancer risk as well as the benefits and implications of genetic test results. The steps to genetic testing include:

-- Making an appointment with a genetic counselor. Prior to the appointment, you will be mailed a cancer risk assessment questionnaire detailing your personal medical history, as well as your family’s history of cancer.
-- Meeting with a genetic counselor. During your appointment, your personal and family history will be reviewed and you will receive an explanation of your risks for developing certain types of cancer. Information about hereditary cancer will be explained. You may also have the option of having a genetic test.
-- Undergoing genetic testing. When appropriate, a blood sample may be ordered by your genetic counselor to examine your blood for altered cancer genes that are linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. Altered cancer genes can be inherited from either parent, and researchers have identified genes linked to many different forms of cancer.
-- Reviewing test results. The results of genetic testing are thoroughly explained during a follow-up session. A personalized plan for cancer prevention and surveillance designed by the program’s multidisciplinary team will be carefully reviewed. Implications for family members will also be explained.
Appointments through the High Risk Cancer Assessment Program are available on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Implications of Being at Risk

Genetic testing can tell you whether you carry a gene mutation that raises your risk and possibly your family’s risk of cancer. It does not tell you whether you have or will definitely get cancer.

A person found to carry an altered cancer gene may benefit from certain cancer prevention and surveillance methods and they may be able to provide cancer risk information to family members. For individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer, the discovery of an altered gene may help explain why their cancer developed and identify risks of developing related cancers.

An individual found not to have an altered cancer gene that is known to run in his or her family may be spared unnecessary anxiety and increased medical surveillance.

Ensuring Confidential Test Results

All family and medical history information and genetic test results are confidential. This information will not release under any circumstance without your written consent. In addition, no information will be submitted to your insurance company unless you request it.

How to Reach Us

For more information, please contact us by e-mail or call Sherry Grumet, M.A., M.S., C.G.C., a board-certified oncology genetic counselor who leads the program, at 732-923-6711 or at; oncology nurse practitioner Lolita Jacob, R.N., M.S., APNC at 732-923-6573 or; or the Leon Hess Cancer Center at 732-923-6575.

[ top ]

Support the Leon Hess Cancer Center