McLaren Health Care
Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling

A family history of cancer can increase your own risk for developing the disease. While most cancers occur by chance, it is estimated that about 5-10 percent of cancer cases run in families (hereditary).

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service can help you learn about the impact your personal and family history has on your chance of developing cancer, as well as the risk to other family members. It can also help you understand your options for prevention, early detection, and treatment. 

We offer genetic counseling services in Detroit, Bay City, Farmington Hills, Flint, Lansing, Macomb, Petoskey and Port Huron.

Should you consider genetic counseling? 

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service is helpful to anyone who has anxiety and/or concern about their risk of cancer. This service is useful if you have any of the following:
  • Several relatives with cancer
  • A personal or family history of a rare or unusual cancer, such as male breast cancer
  • A relative with more than one type of cancer
  • A personal or family history of cancer under the age of 50

What can you expect during an appointment?

  • Complete evaluation of your family history by a genetic counselor and doctor who specialize in cancer genetics
  • Risk assessment  
  • An estimation of your chance to develop specific cancers based on your family history and other risk factors
  • An estimated chance that cancer might be passed along through the genes in your family
  • Discussion of genetic testing options. If you pursue testing, results are shared with you during a return visit
  • Information about ways to lower your risk of getting cancer and ways to find it early when it is most easily treated

What difference can cancer genetic counseling make? 

An evaluation with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service could save your life. The information gained during your appointments will help by informing you of your own cancer risk and ways to reduce this risk. It will also allow your doctor to develop a management program unique to you. 

Finally, this information will help your family members who may be at an increased risk of developing certain cancers and might benefit from frequent cancer screening. Family members who may not be at an increased risk of developing cancer and may not need unnecessary cancer screening will also benefit from this services. 

For More Information

  • Contact us at 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) for additional information or to schedule an appointment
  • Read the FAQs
  • Resources

Genetic Newsletters

The Karmanos Genetic Counseling Department releases a quarterly newsletter as a means to communicate with our patients about key advances in the field of cancer genetics.

Genetic Counseling Team

genetics team
  • Michael Simon, MD, MPH
    Michael Simon, M.D., MPH
    Medical Director
    Michael Simon, M.D., MPH, is a professor (Clinician-Educator) in the Department of Oncology. He received his Bachelor of Science in biology as well as his medical degree from the University of Illinois. In addition, he holds a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan. He has been at Wayne State University since 1989 and has held the rank of professor since 2004. In addition to his other clinical responsibilities, Dr. Simon is the Medical Director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service. He is also actively involved in oncology research as well as teaching and training residents and fellows.

    Learn more about Dr. Simon

  • Nanci Petrucelli, MS, CGC
    Nancie Petrucelli, MS, CGC
    Director and Senior Genetic Counselor
    Nancie Petrucelli has over 20 years of clinical genetics experience and currently serves as the Director and Senior Genetic Counselor of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. She received her Master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She currently holds the rank of Adjunct Associate Professor of Oncology. Prior to her arrival at Karmanos, she began her genetic counseling career at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut and then developed the Cancer Genetics Program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she is also actively involved in education and teaching as well as clinical research.
  • Courtney Attard, MS, CGC
    Courtney Kokenakes, MS, CGC
    Genetic Counselor
    Courtney Kokenakes is a genetic counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute where she provides genetic counseling to individuals at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes. She received her Bachelor of Science in Genomics and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University in 2010 and her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Wayne State University in 2016. Kokenakes previously worked for the University of Michigan as a research technician and lab manager in a neurology laboratory that studied metabolism. She is excited to provide genetic counseling as part of the Karmanos team and looks forward to continued involvement in research, teaching, and outreach related to public health genomics.
  • Rachel Hagen, MS, CGC
    Rachel Reagle, MS, CGC
    Genetic Counselor
    Rachel Reagle is a genetic counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2014. She graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2016 with her Master Science in Genetic Counseling. She has always been very interested in cancer genetics, working as a volunteer and student intern in a cancer genetics setting while pursuing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She is looking forward to providing genetic counseling to many different communities by traveling to satellite clinics throughout Michigan
  • Kristian Wilks, MS
    Genetic Counselor
    Kristian Wilks is a genetic counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Kristian received his Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Molecular Genomics from Michigan State University in 2018 and his Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Wayne State University in 2020. Kristian previously worked for a neuroscience laboratory at Michigan State University studying socialization and development of the brain. He is excited to provide genetic counseling to the diverse communities of Michigan as a part of the Karmanos team, and to further add to research and outreach aimed at helping those with hereditary cancer syndromes.

Find Genetic Counseling Near You

Genetic Resources

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC)

Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndromes

  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)/Attenuated FAP
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS)
    • PJS Handbook (pdf) – From Johns Hopkins
    • PJS – From the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hereditary Melanoma Syndromes

    Rare Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

    General Cancer Resources

    Genetic Discrimination

    Support Resources