NWH Northern Westchester Hospital

Risk Analysis and Genetic Counseling


Are You at Risk for Hereditary Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome?

Is there a history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer in your family?

Use this self assessment tool to determine whether you should meet with our Genetic Counselor. Download and print Genetic Risk Assessment tool here >

If you mark two or more boxes in this table, we urge you to schedule an appointment with our Genetic Counselor. Contact Nancy Cohen, MS, CGC, Certified Genetic Counselor at 914.242.7649 or 914.242.7640, or request an appointment online.


Breast Cancer at or before age 50

Ovarian Cancer at any age




Your Mother



Your Sister



Your Daughter



Mother's Side









Father's Side












2 or more cases of breast cancer (after age 50) on the same side of the family



Male breast cancer at any age in any relative



Jewish Ancestry



Source: Bellcross et al, in Genetics in Medicine, Vol. 11, N. 11, Nov. 09

To discuss your answers and understand your risk, schedule an appointment with our Genetic Counselor, Nancy Cohen, MS, CGC, Certified Genetic Counselor.

Meet the Genetic Counselor

Please visit our Video Suite under About Us (in the bar across the top of the screen). In the video suite click on The Breast Institute and select the video Meet the Genetic Counselor.

About Genetic Counseling at The Breast Institute

The Breast Institute at NWH offers comprehensive Risk Analysis and Genetic Counseling to help you assess your risk for breast cancer, and evaluate the likelihood that a hereditary breast cancer syndrome known as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) might be occurring in your family.

Genetic counseling and genetic testing can help individuals understand their cancer risks which can assist in determining appropriate surveillance measures and possible risk reducing strategies to detect cancer early and/or decrease the chance to develop cancer.

The Genetic Counselor at The Breast Institute at NWH provides the risks, benefits and limitation of genetic testing, the potential impact of testing for other family members and emotional support. While genetic testing is often discussed, there is no requirement to have genetic testing when having a genetic counseling consultation.

Your physician will obtain a family history and perform initial risk analysis. Your physician may counsel you regarding genetic testing options including BRACAnalysis®. Your physician may refer you, or your can ask your physician about genetic counseling.

If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, genetic testing information may influence the choice of surgical treatment. It can also identify at-risk family members risk so they receive proper care.


What to Expect from Genetic Counseling

You are welcomed to speak with the Genetic Counselor prior to your session to learn more about the genetic counseling process.

  • Appointment scheduling is done by the Genetic Counselor, who can answer your initial questions before scheduling a consultation
  • Our patients meet with the Genetic Counselor in a comfortable, quiet and aesthetically pleasing consultation room
  • Our patients are provided with a comprehensive, clearly written summary of their genetic counseling session
  • To provide continuity of care, our patients are referred to other NWH New York breast surgery specialists
  • We refer our patients to local support organizations when desired If BRCA testing or other genetic testing is performed...
  • Our patients receive results by telephone, with a follow-up appointment in-person if results are positive or require additional review
  • Our patients also receive a written summary of results in the mail,reviewing the meaning of genetic testing results

    Benefits of Genetic Counseling

    • Detailed education about hereditary cancer
    • Comprehensive evaluation of personal and family medical history
    • Hereditary cancer risk assessment and risk to other family members
    • Genetic testing options and testing
    • Cancer screening and risk reduction recommendations
    • Psychological support and referrals
    • Referrals to clinical research trials and research registries

    Who Should Meet with a Cancer Genetic Counselor

    Individuals who may benefit from Genetic Counseling include those with a personal or family history of: Download pdf version here >

  • Cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Multiple close family members with the same or related cancers (ex. breast and ovarian; colon and uterine)
  • Two or more primary cancer diagnoses in the same individual
  • Rare cancers or tumors(ex. male breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, adrenocortical carcinoma, pheochromocytoma)
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Other features associated with a hereditary cancer syndrome (ex. multiple colon polyps)
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast or ovarian cancer
  • A known familial mutation in a cancer predisposition syndrome gene
  • Concern about developing cancer because of family history

    Schedule an appointment with our Genetic Counselor to discuss your answers and estimate your risk. Request an appointment online or call: 914.242.7649 or 914.242.7640

    Prepare for a Genetic Counseling Appointment

    • Complete and return the Family History Form with information regarding you and your family’s cancer history including tumor location, subtype, age of onset, and treatment for affected relatives.
    • Complete and return the Health Questionnaire
    • If possible, bring medical records, including any genetic testing results and tumor pathology reports, for yourself and/or affected relative(s).
    • Inform us if you may need an interpreter.
    • Arrange for a relative or friend to attend the session with you if you think it would be helpful to you.

    Either scan and e-mail directly to ncohen@nwhc.net or fax to Nancy Cohen, MS, CGC: 914-242-7682 one week prior to the appointment.


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