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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

Genetic Counseling

Some cancers and other types of disease have a genetic or hereditary component. At the Center for Advanced Digestive Care (CADC) at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, our genetics team focuses on hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes, including Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome, among others. These conditions can significantly increase an individualís lifetime risk of developing various gastrointestinal cancers as well as cancers in other parts of the body. The CADCís genetics team includes a genetic counselor certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and an MD-PhD physician researcher, who is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Before each patientís initial genetic counseling appointment at the CADC, they are asked to complete a family history questionnaire, which will ask about their personal and family history of cancer. It may be beneficial for patients to speak with family members before their appointment in order to clarify various relativesí cancer diagnoses and ages at diagnosis.

During the initial appointment, our genetics team will collect additional health information, review the patientís cancer family history, and assess the patientís chance of having a hereditary cancer syndrome. Some findings in a medical and family history that are suggestive of a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome are:

  • Cancer diagnosis at a young age
  • Multiple family members diagnosed with the same cancer or related cancers. For instance, in families with Lynch syndrome, there may be multiple family members diagnosed with colorectal and/or endometrial cancer
  • One or more individual with multiple primary cancer diagnoses

If it is determined that a patient has a significant chance of having a hereditary cancer syndrome, then genetic testing will be offered. Genetic testing for the diagnosis of a hereditary cancer syndrome is beneficial, as it can confirm a diagnosis, provide specific cancer risks, provide guidance regarding appropriate cancer surveillance (such as the frequency of screening tests), and allow family members who may also be at risk of having the same syndrome to undergo genetic testing.

Genetic testing is voluntary, so when it is offered, our genetics team provides counseling about possible genetic diagnoses, medical management options, inheritance, and different genetic testing options in order to promote informed decisions. The team will also coordinate the genetic test and communicate the results to the patient.

Genetics Services Staff

Steven Lipkin, MD, PhD, FACMG, is a board-certified medical geneticist with a focus on digestive diseases and disorders, including Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, and hemochromatosis and hereditary pancreatic cancer syndrome, among others. He is an authority on cancer genetic syndromes, with a particular emphasis on hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes such as colon cancer (colorectal cancer). Dr. Lipkin trained in Internal Medicine at Duke University and in Medical Genetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Francesca Tubito, MS, CGC is a masterís level-prepared and certified genetic counselor. She earned a BA in genetics from Rutgers University in 2012 and a MS in genetic counseling from Long Island University-Post in 2014 before joining the CADC as the genetic counselor. She has since earned American Board of Genetic Counseling certification in September 2015. She specializes in hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes including Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome, among others. Francesca is dedicated to patient-centered care and manages the CADCís hereditary gastrointestinal cancer registry.