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Our Program

The field of cancer genetic counseling is relatively new, since the genes that predispose a person to cancer were only identified in the early to mid 1990s. At Huntsman Cancer Institute, genetic counselors play a key role in the cancer risk assessment team, which includes oncologists, gastroenterologists, and dermatologists. Cancer risk consultation involves the following:

  • Collecting and confirming information about personal and family history of cancer
  • Identifying the risk of developing cancer
  • Determining ways in which cancer risk can be modified

Genetic counselors also help individuals make decisions about genetic testing as well as create a personal cancer health program that fits with the individual's value system. Read more about genetic changes that can lead to cancer.

The University of Utah's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling prepares students for accreditation and to practice in the field. The program is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Departments of Human Genetics, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. It integrates coursework, clinical rotations, community placements, supplementary activities, and an independent research project. Accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), the program makes students eligible for Active Candidate Status and prepares them to take the ABGC certification examination.

For more information, visit the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic website.