Rivers Cancer Center recently expanded to offer cancer genetic counseling. Ashley VanDenBoom, M.S., CGC is a certified genetic counselor who will be seeing patients in River Falls and at United Hospital. She is accepting referrals to provide service for western Wisconsin and the east metro area.

VanDenBoom sees patients and their families who have concerns or questions about cancer risk assessment and genetic testing. “We’re pleased to offer genetic counseling to help our patients and their families make informed decisions about their care,” said Peter Dahlberg, MD, medical director of the Rivers Cancer Center. “Now our patients can receive this service right here in River Falls.”

Appointments can be made by calling 715-307-6430. Patients will need a referral from their doctor if genetic testing is deemed necessary.
Testing is reasonable for any patient with a predicted chance of inheriting the mutant gene greater than 10%. That risk is based on several factors including:

  • Personal history of breast or ovarian cancer, especially of early onset
  • Family history of early onset breast or ovarian cancer
  • Bilateral breast cancer
  • Biopsies showing atypical proliferative changes
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

Similar strategies are applied for colorectal cancer genetic testing.
Genetic consultations incorporate:

  • An evaluation of the patient’s personal and family history
  • Clinical examination
  • Review of imaging and any biopsy information available
  • Patient education attuned to personal and family situations
  • Information on medical and surgical risk reduction to help prevent cancer
  • Computer-based predictive modeling of risk and interpretation of results

Cancer specific genetic susceptibility tests are available when indicated.