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Mercyhealth offers the only comprehensive medical genetics program in the region. The Mercyhealth medical genetics team, including medical geneticists and genetic counselors, specialize in the evaluation, treatment and management of genetic disorders. They explain complex genetic information, help coordinate medical care and appropriate genetic testing, and provide patient advocacy and emotional support.

The Mercyhealth medical genetics team includes board certified medical geneticists, licensed and board certified genetic counselors, a genetic counseling assistant, and a department secretary.

Genetics services for children and adults

The medical genetics team helps patients who have a personal or family history of a medical condition that could be genetic, individuals born with birth differences, poor growth, or characteristic facial features, as well as individuals with:

  • Developmental delay, intellectual disability or autism
  • Cardiac findings such as an enlarged heart or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Neuromuscular findings such as muscle weakness and difficulty with movement
  • Short stature and bone and joint differences
  • Huntington disease, Parkinson’s disease and early onset dementia
  • More common genetic conditions such as neurofibromatosis, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis and polycystic kidney disease

Genetic counseling services for expectant parents

The prenatal genetic counselors help expectant parents who are at an increased risk of having a child with a medical problem due to:

  • Maternal age or an abnormal blood screening test
  • Having a previous child with, or family history of, a birth defect, genetic disorder, chromosome abnormality or intellectual disability
  • Having concerns about their pregnancy because of exposure to medications, alcohol, drugs, infection, radiation or toxic substances
  • Having experienced more than one miscarriage, a stillbirth or an infant death
  • Being blood relatives
  • Being from an ancestry known to have a higher incidence of a specific genetic disorder

Cancer genetic counseling services

The oncology genetic counselors have advanced training in medical genetics and counseling to guide and support patients seeking more information about how inherited cancer might affect them or their families, and to interpret genetic test results based on their personal and family history. A genetics consult is recommended for patients with a personal or family history of the following:

  • A known genetic disease causing variant (i.e. gene mutation) identified in a cancer susceptibility gene
  • Individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Two or more cancers in the same person
  • Any of the following diagnosed at any age:
    • Ovarian cancer (including fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers)
    • Male breast cancer
    • Triple negative breast cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Metastatic prostate cancer
    • Medullary thyroid cancer
    • Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma
    • Adrenocortical carcinoma
    • Colon, uterine or other cancers showing evidence of mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency, either by microsatellite instability (MSI) or loss of MMR protein expression
  • Any of the following diagnosed at a young age (≤50 years):
    • Breast cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Endometrial cancer
    • Gastric cancer
    • Other cancer(s) diagnosed at unusually young ages
  • Three or more cancers on the same side of the family
  • Numerous colon polyps
  • Skin findings associated with hereditary cancer syndromes, including sebaceous adenomas/carcinomas or keratoacanthomas

Make an appointment

To make an appointment with one of our medical genetics providers, call 815.971.5069.