Cancer Genetics

Hereditary Cancer Genetics

Adult Testing & Counseling Program

To see if you should contact us about testing click here – our free and confidential survey takes five minutes or less.


What is cancer genetics testing & counseling?

Provided by our specifically trained staff, and covered by most insurance plans, Cancer Genetics Testing & Counseling at HOA involves meeting with a Cancer Genetics Specialist and, if appropriate, providing a blood sample sent to a national genetics’ laboratory. Based on your results, our specialists can make recommendations to best manage your cancer risk. 

The goal is to prevent a cancer from developing or to identify a cancer at an earlier stage to improve survival.

If you are currently being treated for cancer, these results may help your provider make decisions about your care or show if you have a higher chance of developing additional types of cancer. Testing can also help to find out if family members are at risk.


How can I get genetic testing?

Unlike our other services, you do NOT need a referral. Begin by completing our five-minute, confidential survey.

If you would like to further discuss your results or schedule an appointment for genetic counseling, you can ask your provider during your visit or contact us at 315.472.7504 and press #2.

After meeting with one of our genetic counselors, we draw a small blood sample and send it to another facility for analysis. You can expect your results in three to four weeks.

Appointments are available at the East Syracuse and Onondaga Hill locations.


What are hereditary cancers?

Many cancers are known to be caused by changes (mutations) in our genes, which are the blueprint for our cells. Some changes cause the gene’s product to not function correctly and increase the likelihood that the cell will become cancerous.

About 13% of the time, individuals are born with an identifiable mutation that caused their cancer to develop. Other times the hereditary link is not known or the cancer developed sporadically, meaning there is no inherited trait related to the cancer diagnosis.


Who should receive cancer genetics testing & counseling?

Take our free and confidential survey to find out!

Cancer Genetics is typically recommended for individuals who:

  • Were diagnosed with cancer at a young age (younger than 50)
  • Have had more than one type of cancer
  • Have a rare cancer
  • Have a family member with a known gene mutation
  • Have a family with multiple cases of related cancers (see below)


• Breast                                              • Colorectal                            • Bladder

• Ovarian                                            • Pancreatic                            • Renal/Kidney

• Uterine/Endometrial                         • Stomach                              • Ureter

• Prostate                                           • Brain or Central                    • Nervous System

• Melanoma                                        • Sebaceous Adenoma            • Small Bowel                         


How is this Cancer Genetics Testing different than direct-to-consumer genetics tests?

Direct-to-consumer tests are not reliable for determining cancer risks and must be verified by clinical testing. Direct-to-consumer tests look for a few “hot spots” rather than sequence the DNA, thus they are nowhere near as comprehensive.

The HOA Cancer Genetics Program offers precise and comprehensive information you can trust and share with your medical providers. Unlike an anonymous testing company, HOA Cancer Genetics Specialists can directly answer all your questions and offer medical care if cancer-risk management is needed.


Will cancer genetics testing affect my health, life, or disability insurance?

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects patients from discrimination in health insurance coverage and employment based on genetic information. Life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care (nursing home) insurance companies however can deny coverage and/or charge a higher premium on policies obtained after positive results are known. Any standing policies are protected. More information is available at

What happens after I receive my results?

If a greater than average risk of cancer is found, there are several things you and your healthcare team can do to manage that risk:

  • Receive frequent monitoring to help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage and improve survival
  • Follow preventive strategies, including risk-reducing medications or surgeries
  • Make better-informed decisions about treatment options
  • Provide information for your relatives to learn more about inherited risk and how it may affect them

What would a genetic mutation mean for me and my family?

Having a genetic mutation does not mean an individual will develop cancer, rather they are at an elevated risk of developing one or more cancers in their lifetime. Our knowledgeable genetic counselors can help you and your family better understand your risks and make recommendations to more appropriately manage your healthcare.

If you are found to have a genetic mutation, your children, parents, and siblings each have a 50% chance of sharing the same mutation, and so it is important that you discuss this with your family. We can help you plan that conversation, as well as provide testing for your adult family members if desired.

Is genetics testing expensive?

Genetic testing has become much more affordable over the years. In fact, more than 90% of our patients pay $0 for genetic testing because it is covered by their insurance.

You can always choose to pay for Cancer Genetics Counseling & Testing privately. Testing fees have been significantly reduced over the last several years, with a maximum out-of-pocket cost from a reputable lab of $250. However, most patients pay even less than that. 

Who are the HOA cancer genetics specialists?

Our cancer genetics specialists are oncology-certified nurse practitioners specialty trained in

Hereditary Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment.  

Kimberly Conboy, FNP, CGRA



Kathy Snyder, FNP



Kristen Weiler, FNP, CGRA   



Our physician champions for Cancer Genetics are: 

Olga D. Kligerman. D.O., Lauren Panebianco, M.D., Tarek J. Sousou, M.D. and Jill Yeager, D.O.