• Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Counseling

  • Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Counseling at Penrose Cancer Center, Colorado SpringsThe 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 correctly 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 couselors at (719) 776-5279
    Read our Hereditary Cancer Brochure

    Online Resources

    brightPink: National breast and ovarian cancer non-profit organization with an exclusive focus on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in high-risk young women
    FORCE: National breast and ovarian cancer non-profit organization designed to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
    National Cancer Institute: Dictionary of Genetics Terms: Definitions of genetics and cancer genetics terminology

  • Meet Our Genetic Counselors

  • Kate CrowBefore her 14-year career as a genetic counselor, 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.

    Her 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 eight years of experience in prenatal, pediatric and adult genetics.
    Elena StraitElena 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.