Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling - Debbie Pencarinha 

The Wellmont Cancer Institute is committed to treating cancer when needed and preventing it when possible. With the goal of prevention in mind, the cancer institute offers genetic counseling services and a high-risk clinic for individuals who are potentially experiencing a number of different factors that could increase their risks for developing cancer.

Learning about specific genetic risk factors enables individuals and families to make choices to help reduce those risks – including having more agressive and frequent screenings, utilizing preventive medications or surgeries or making simple changes to diet and exercise.

The Wellmont Cancer Institute's genetic counseling services are performed by Debbie Pencarinha, a licensed, board certified genetic counselor.

Genetic risk factors for cancer

Genetic counseling services may be helpful when:

  • Cancer is diagnosed at an early age – often before age 50 – particularly if other family members have cancer
  • Families have multiple close relatives with the same type of cancer or related cancers, such as breast and ovarian, colon or endometrial
  • Families have related cancers that occur in two or more generations
  • An individual has more than one type of cancer
  • An individual has the same type of cancer twice, such as bilateral breast cancer
  • An individual has a rare cancer, such as male breast cancer

Getting started with a genetic counseling consultation

Individuals with questions or concerns about their genetic risk factors for cancer should speak with their primary care physician to determine if genetic counseling might be helpful. For more information, please contact genetic counselor Debbie Pencarinha at (423) 578-8593 or complete an online information request form.