We know that cancer care is much more than just your treatment. At West Cancer Center, you have access to comprehensive and individualized wellness and support resources from diagnosis all the way through survivorship.

About Our Program

Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand how genetics can play a role in developing cancer. Certain families have hereditary cancer conditions that can be passed down through generations. A genetic counselor is a healthcare provider specifically trained to evaluate your family history and determine if genetic testing would benefit you and your family.

Genetic counseling and genetic testing may help discover the cause of your cancer or the cancer(s) in your family. Sometimes, it can also tell you if you have an increased risk for cancers that are not running in your family.

Our genetic counselors can help you understand your risk to develop cancer and determine if there is an inherited cancer risk in your family. We are also happy to provide information about possible cancer screenings and risk reducing options for you and your family if there is an increased genetic risk for you or your family. Our genetic counselors are here to work with you and your doctors to assist in making medical management decisions.

For more information about our genetic counselors and our genetic counseling services, please contact 901.683.0055, ext. 61324 or ext. 66432, or email [email protected]

You may also visit NSGC.org to learn more about genetic counseling and how it can benefit you and your family.

 

Meet Our Team:

Aimee Martin, MS, CGC

Aimee is a board certified genetic counselor at West Cancer Center. She joined West Cancer Center in January 2018 and brings with her over 10 years of clinical experience counseling patients and their families at risk for hereditary cancer. Aimee obtained her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2007. She completed a hereditary cancer fellowship at the Yale Cancer Center in 2006 and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and licensed by the state of Tennessee. Her interests include risk assessment for inherited gastrointestinal syndromes and other rare disorders as well as ethical issues in genetic counseling and testing. Aimee moved to Memphis 1 year ago from Washington DC. She currently resides in Germantown and enjoys being outside with her dog.

 

Lindsay Lipe, MS, CGC

Lindsay is a board certified and licensed genetic counselor at West Cancer Center. She joined West Cancer Center in June 2016 shortly after receiving her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Wayne University in Detroit, Michigan.  Lindsay received her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Michigan State University in 2012. Her interest include hereditary breast cancer and rare hereditary cancer syndromes. Lindsay currently lives in downtown Memphis and enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

 

 Rachel Covington, MS, CGC

Rachel is a board certified and licensed genetic counselor. She joined West Cancer Center in May 2014 after obtaining her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to this, she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Christian Brothers University here in Memphis. She has lived in Memphis since 2001. Rachel’s particular interest include inherited renal syndromes and tumor profiling and its application to germline genetic testing. She currently resides in Cordova, TN and enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

 

Who Should See a Genetic Counselor?

Talking to a genetic counselor may be helpful if you or your family member has experienced any of the following:

  • Certain cancers diagnosed at a younger age (breast, colon, or uterine cancer diagnosed before 50)
  • Ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age
  • 10 or more colon polyps
  • A male diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer
  • A male diagnosed with breast cancer
  • A female diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
  • Multiple relatives with different types of cancer (breast and ovarian in one family, colon and uterine in one family, etc.)
  • Rare cancers or tumors (medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, paraganglioma, etc.)
  • Certain ethnic backgrounds (Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestory)

What Happens During an Appointment?

A genetic counselor starts by reviewing your medical history with you. You may be given a personalized risk assessment about your chance to have a genetic counselor will walk you through the testing proces and highlight both the benefits and limitations of genetic testing. Genetic testing may not be helpful in all situations. Together, you can decide if genetic testing is right for you. 

You will also learn how a positive or negative test result with change your medical management, as well as the implications for other members of your family. Insurance topics such as coverage and genetic discimination will also be discussed. 

To prepare for your appointment, research your family history, including types of cancer and ages at diagnosis. This will help your counselor provide an accurate risk assessment. Sometimes, bringing a copy of your family members' pathology report can also be helpful, particularly relating to colon polyps and kidney cancer.

How is Testing Performed?

Genetic testing is performed using a blood sample and results are usually available within 2-3 weeks. If genetic testing is ordered, your counselor will discuss your results with you personally and will help with any follow-up needed.