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Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic

The NHO Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic team includes a board-certified genetic counselor, advanced practice providers, physicians, and nurses who work together to provide cancer risk assessments and take action to prevent the development of cancer.

Nebraska Hematology-Oncology is dedicated to identifying and caring for individuals at an increased risk for cancer due to personal history, family history, genetic results, and/or lifestyle influences. After an initial evaluation of cancer risks, we discuss cancer screening options and outline a personalized cancer risk reduction plan. Our team works closely with patients and their primary care physicians to create a surveillance and management plan allowing for routine check-ins to ensure that patients understand their risks and their options to reduce that risk.


Genetic Testing

Genetic testing has burst onto the market in recent years allowing individuals to learn more about their family heritage and fill gaps in their family history, but genetic testing for cancer risk elevates the concept to allow individuals to accurately estimate cancer risks, determine how your body will respond to treatments, and help you reduce your risk of developing the disease. Our NHO genetic providers have advanced training in genetics and can accurately interpret results for you in a way that you can understand. If you’re interested in genetic testing for cancer risk, give us a call at 402-484-4900 to schedule a consultation. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider genetic testing for cancer risk?

Overall, 5%-10% of individuals develop cancer due to an inherited genetic mutation. Your family history is a great tool that providers will use to assess your risk of carrying a genetic mutation.

Genetic testing may benefit you if any of the following describes your family history:

  • Breast cancer that was diagnosed at a young age (<45 years old)
  • Multiple primary cancers that have occurred in the same person
  • Cancer that has developed in both organs in a set of paired organs, such as both kidneys or both breasts
  • Breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family (for example, a mother and daughter with breast cancer)
  • Rare cancer types (for example, male breast cancer or pancreatic cancer)
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

If your risk is estimated higher than normal, you can take steps to reduce your risk and detect potential cancers sooner.
At your NHO genetics visit, specialized services will be discussed including:

  • Personalized surveillance program in response to your risk
  • Discussion about ways to lower your cancer risk
  • Cancer risk-reducing medications
  • Appropriate referrals for risk-reducing prophylactic surgeries

We can make appropriate recommendations to your primary healthcare provider pertaining to your cancer risk and are happy to serve as a genetic resource to your other providers.


What is involved in genetic testing?

Genetic testing is typically done with a small blood sample. If you are unable to come in for an in-person office visit, testing can also be done with a saliva sample shipped to your address. Once the genetic testing lab receives your sample, testing will be done on a personalized number of genes depending on your family history and your testing preferences.

Different genes carry different levels of cancer risk. Your visit will be tailored to your results and your personal needs. After genetic test results return, we understand the importance of not only making appropriate medical recommendations but providing you with additional support. Connecting you with support groups and assisting in sharing results with family members are just two examples of how we can help support if a positive result is identified. 


We're talking about hereditary (germline) genetic testing. What about tumor (somatic) genetic testing?

NHO oncologists have experience in ordering tumor genetic testing which can predict how your body will respond to different treatments, radiation, or chemotherapy. With the information provided by tumor genetic testing, your treatment can be customized leading to the best possible outcomes. 
Tumor genetic testing does not directly give information about hereditary cancer risk. 

Give us a call at 402-484-4900 or talk to your NHO provider if you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a visit with a member of our genetics staff.

Our Genetics Staff:

Charlie King Ashley Waldrep Ingrid Pakalniskyte
Charlie King Ashley Waldrep Ingrid Pakalniskyte