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Genetic Tests (My Risk) in New Jersey

At Risk for Hereditary Cancer?

The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, MD is a Gastroenterology specialist experienced in performing and interpreting the results of genetic testing.

What is genetic testing?

Recent discoveries have led to an increased understanding of the causes of several common cancers. Your risk for developing one or more of these cancers is determined by the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors. The goal of genetic testing is to identify heightened inherited risk. Then, interventions specifically tailored to your situation can be performed that result in improved outcomes, even disease prevention. The common cancers amenable to genetic testing are

What do I need to do?

Dr. Merlo will provide the counseling to help you decide if genetic testing is right for you. The process requires:

  1. Obtaining your family history as complete and accurate as possible. Follow this link FamilyHistoryTool to a secure website to guide you through formulating your family tree.
  2. Providing a sample of blood or saliva. The sample is easily collected at the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center and shipped to the clinical laboratory.
    Most health insurances cover the cost of testing. Your projected cost responsibility will be determined prior to testing.

What can genetic testing do for me?

Dr. Merlo will discuss your results with you about six weeks after sample collection. Your results will not be available to any other person, provider or entity without your consent. Federal laws prohibit the use of this information by employers or insurance companies to discriminate or raise premiums.

Based on your results, Dr. Merlo will recommend specific tests such as colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, abdominal ultrasounds or CT scans at definite intervals to search for pre-cancerous tumors or early cancers even before symptoms or other signs of disease. Remember, early detection provides the best outcome for you and your family.

If you have questions about your risk for hereditary cancers, contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center in Lawrenceville or Princeton, NJ for an appointment with Dr. Merlo.