Genetic Risk Assessment

At Virginia Cancer Specialists, we provide comprehensive medical care and support services for people diagnosed with cancer or those at a higher risk of developing cancer.  Our integrated team comprised of oncologists, genetic counselors, nurse practitioners and nurse specialists have received special training related to inherited cancers and are available to help you understand your level of risk and provide personalized medical recommendations based on personal and/or family history of cancer.

Approximately 5-10% of cancers are inherited.  Changes in a particular gene can be passed down from a parent and are associated with a higher lifetime risk of cancer.  Features suggestive of hereditary cancer include:

  • Any individual diagnosed with cancer prior to age 50
  • Any individual who has developed more than one cancer
  • Any individual with a rare type of cancer (ovarian, male breast cancer, pancreatic)
  • An individual with two or more family members diagnosed with the same cancer
  • A family member with an identifiable gene mutation known to increase the risk of cancer
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with a personal or family history of  cancer

If you or your family has these features, it is important to review this information with your doctor and to schedule an appointment with our team for a more in depth discussion.

If you are a patient with a Hereditary Risk Assessment scheduled, please fill out these forms prior to your visit.

The Genetics Team

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                            [post_date] => 2017-09-08 12:48:47
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                            [post_content] => Dr. Rodriguez attended Johns Hopkins University where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in biomedical engineering and was a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Rodriguez then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at George Washington Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Rodriguez currently heads the Virginia Cancer Specialists Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program. She has been a member of the US Oncology GREAT (Genetic Risk Evaluation and Treatment Program) Executive Committee since 2013, and she regularly speaks on the subject of genetics. Dr. Rodriguez remains active in other areas of the medical community as well. She serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, is a member of the Executive Committee for the Arlington Medical Society, and is involved with the Arlington Free Clinic. Her professional memberships include the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology.

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Dr. Rodriguez speaks both fluent Spanish and French. She enjoys music and plays guitar in an Irish band.


[post_title] => Patricia Rodriguez, M.D. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => patricia-rodriguez-m-d [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-11 20:17:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-11 20:17:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => physician [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 535 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2017-09-07 18:51:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-07 18:51:58 [post_content] => Dr. Reid received his doctorate of medicine from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and went on to complete an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics. His Medical Oncology Fellowship was completed at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where he performed basic research into the molecular biology and pathogenesis of cancer. His Hematology Fellowship was completed at Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Prior to VCS, Dr. Reid served as a Medical Officer in the Oncology Division, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and as the Acting Deputy Director, Division of Monoclonal Antibodies, Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Reid is an active participant in the US Oncology research program at Virginia Cancer Specialists. He serves on several medical staff committees at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, and previously served as Medical Staff President at INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital and was a member of the INOVA Health Care Services Board of Trustees. Outside of medicine, Dr. Reid and his wife, Patti are raising three teenagers who are each busy with music studies. Dr. Reid enjoys playing tennis. He is an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 51 in Herndon, VA.
        [post_title] => Robert L. Reid, M.D., F.A.C.P. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => robert-l-reid-m-d-f-a-c-p [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-11 20:10:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-11 20:10:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => physician [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 761 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 16:07:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 16:07:01 [post_content] => Ms. Lipinski has practiced genetic counseling since 2004, when she received her ScM from the Johns Hopkins University/National Human Genome Research Institute. Upon completion of her training, Ms. Lipinski worked at the University of Virginia Health System, where she was a genetic counselor and clinical lecturer in the University's Division of Medical Genetics. During her tenure, she provided genetic counseling for pediatric and adult genetics patients, by conducting evaluations for cancer, cardiac, metabolic, developmental, neurological and other indications. Most recently, Ms. Lipinski served as the senior genetic counselor at O and O Alpan, where she evaluated patients referred for Lysosomal Storage Disorders and other rare disorders. Ms. Lipinski is an elected board member of the Virginia Association of Genetic Counselors, has presented various regional and national lectures, and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles. She is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. In her spare time, Ms. Lipinski enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, running, and traveling. [post_title] => Shawn Lipinski, ScM, CGC [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => shawn-lipinski-scm-cgc [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-23 14:26:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-23 14:26:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => personnel [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 591 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2017-09-14 15:07:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-14 15:07:07 [post_content] =>


University of Delaware

Graduate School

University of Virginia


Adult/Geriontological Nurse Practitioner, University of Massachusetts Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Oncology Certified Nurse, Oncology Nursing Society Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner, Oncology Nursing Society Certified Breast Care Nurse, Oncology Nursing Society [post_title] => Doreen Grzelak, RN, MSN, NP-C, AOCN [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => doreen-grzelak-rn-msn-np-c-aocn [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-08 14:35:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-08 14:35:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => personnel [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [index] => 1 ) )


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Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Lynch Syndrome:  Please download a free copy of A Patients Guide to Lynch Syndrome (below) published by the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation.