NIH Press Release
National Cancer Institute
National Human Genome Research Institute

Wednesday, May 14, 1997
NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641
Jeff Witherly, NHGRI
(301) 402-8564

Genetic Counseling Experts Directory Available on CancerNetTM

A directory of genetic counselors, physicians, geneticists, and nurses who have expertise in counseling about familial risk for cancer and testing for genetic susceptibility is available on CancerNet™. CancerNet is an online cancer information service developed and maintained by the National Cancer Institute's International Cancer Information Center (ICIC). The Internet URL for CancerNet is:

"The directory will help health care professionals who are increasingly in need of locating qualified cancer counseling and testing referral resources for their patients," said Susan Molloy Hubbard, R.N., M.P.A., ICIC director. "There is widespread agreement among health care providers," added genetic counselor June Peters, M.S., "that individuals who are considering genetic testing for cancer susceptibility should receive education and counseling so that they may fully understand the appropriateness and implications of these tests." Peters, who helped develop the directory, is with the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute.

The Family Cancer Risk Counseling and Genetic Testing Directory is for use for persons who have a family history of cancer or other risk factors that may indicate heritable cancers. The directory is searchable by name, city, state, country, and type of cancer or cancer gene. The resource provides information on the degrees, institutional affiliation, professional licenses, and certification of the counselors. It also specifies the gene or disease sites for which the health care professional provides counseling and gives the context in which service is provided. For example, it explains whether the counseling is designed to answer specific scientific questions in cancer genetics and whether there is a fee for clinical services.

More than 200 health professionals are currently listed in the directory. To be eligible for listing, applicants must be in an oncology or genetics profession; licensed, certified or eligible for board certification in their profession; a member of a recognized health profession organization; and willing to accept referrals. Listing in the directory, however, does not constitute an endorsement by NCI. Initially, four professional organizations queried their membership to identify qualified candidates: the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors, Oncology Nursing Society, and the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

All information on CancerNet is continually reviewed and revised by oncology experts and will be updated annually. The directory is located in the Health Professionals section of CancerNet, under Cancer Genetics. Qualified health care professionals who wish to be added to the directory may send an e-mail query to, or fax a request to the Genetic Counseling Directory at (301) 402-6728.

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