• Genetic Counseling

  • The Hereditary Cancer Service at the Penrose Cancer Center provides cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling and testing services for individuals and families with concerns about inherited cancer predispositions.  Services are provided by a team of cancer professionals led by our genetic counselors.

    Cancer genetic counselors specialize in educating individuals about inherited cancer risks identifying what type of inherited predisposition could be possible and knowing the appropriate type of test to order, interpreting results so that you and your doctor can make informed decisions regarding your medical care.

    The genetic counselors at Penrose's Hereditary Cancer Service are experts at family history assessment.  Personalized risks are estimated for each patient seen in our service, based on their medical and family histories.  These estimates are used to:

    • Determine the chance to develop cancer in the near future and over a lifetime. The chance for cancer determines risk management options. Management may include special screenings, surgeries or medications. 
    • Determine the chance for an inherited predisposition to cancer. If this risk is high, genetic lab testing is an option. Certain inherited gene changes greatly increase cancer risk.

    Our genetic counselors discuss risks and management options with each patient. A written summary of the discussion is sent to the patient and his/her referring provider. The patient and provider can then develop an individualized risk-management plan. Detailed information about family history and genetic risks empower patients to reduce their cancer risks, or to detect cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages.  Looking to the past, we can change the future.

    For more information, please contact one of our genetic counselors at (719) 776-5279
    Read our Hereditary Cancer Brochure

  • Elena StraitElena Strait, MS, CGC
    Elena began her career as a genetic counselor in 1994 at Boston University Center for Human Genetics, providing prenatal genetic counseling and risk assessment. Since then she has provided counseling for prenatal, pediatric, and adult genetics before joining Penrose Cancer Center in 2010. Elena received her B.S. from the University of Colorado before receiving her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

    Kate CrowKate Crow, MS, CGC
    Before beginning her career as a genetic counselor in 1996, Kate Crow served as a public health administrator in Kansas City, Missouri, and volunteered as an interpretive ranger at the Great Sand Dunes. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from Kansas State University, then earned her M.S. in Genetic Counseling at Indiana University.

    Kate’s first genetic counseling job combined duties as the Oregon State Genetics Coordinator and as a clinical genetic counselor at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She also has experience in prenatal, pediatric and adult genetics.

    If you would like to be seen at the Genetic Counseling Clinic, please ask your medical provider for a referral.  You may call the Genetic Counseling Administrative Assistant at 719-776-5279 for information about the appointment, but a referral will be needed before your appointment can be scheduled.
    You will be contacted by Penrose-St. Francis Central Scheduling to schedule your appointment once the referral is received by the Genetic Counseling Clinic. 

    You will be asked to complete a family history questionnaire prior to your appointment.

    Once you have scheduled your appointment with the Genetic Counseling Clinic, you will need to complete our online family history questionnaire prior to your appointment.

    Completing this questionnaire allows your genetic counselor to be better prepared for your appointment and to provide you with a more accurate risk assessment.

    • brightPink 
      Non-profit organization, focused on prevention and early detection of breast / ovarian cancer in high-risk young women.  
    • FORCE  
      Non-profit  organization, designed to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.   
    • National Cancer Institute  
      Government website, with information on genetic testing, cancer genetics terms, and a link to My Family Health Portrait (onsite family history collection tool) 

    If you have questions or if you would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact our genetic counseling support:

    Phone: 719-776-5279                
    Fax: 719-776-6756      
    Email: Genetic Counseling Support

    TThe Penrose Cancer Center Genetic Counseling Clinic is held at:
    Penrose Hospital – Penrose Cancer Center       
    2222 N. Nevada Ave.
    Colorado Springs  CO  80907
    Get Directions

    • Penrose Cancer Center is part of the Penrose Hospital campus on North Nevada Ave.  Please park in the main hospital parking lot, not the parking garage, or use the valet parking at the main entrance.  No tipping is necessary.
    • Please check in at least 30 minutes before your appointment at the Registration desk through the Main Entrance of Penrose Hospital.  After you have picked up your paperwork at Registration, you will be given directions to the location where you will meet the genetic counselor.
    • From I-25, take Exit #145, Fillmore St.  Go east 1 mile on Fillmore to Nevada Ave. and turn right.  Drive about 3/4 mile and take the second entrance to your right after the stoplight at Jackson St.
    • If you are coming from the south on Nevada Ave, you will turn left into the main entrance, 4 blocks after the stoplight at Fontanero, just after you pass Madison St.


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  • Penrose Cancer Center Genetic Counselors

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