Counsyl Offers Free Genetic Cancer Screening to All Women in San Francisco Bay Area Through Collaboration with Bright Pink ® and UCSF

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Counsyl launches “Get Ahead of Cancer SF” to help identify women at risk of inherited cancers

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Counsyl, a health technology company that offers DNA screening for diseases that can impact women, men, and their children, is offering all women working and living in the San Francisco Bay Area a free inherited cancer genetic screening in October and November. In collaboration with UCSF, “Get Ahead of Cancer SF” offers women in the area a free-of-charge Counsyl Inherited Cancer Screen, a genetic test that identifies BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, among others, that are associated with higher risks of inherited breast, ovarian and gynecological cancer. To amplify the "Get Ahead of Cancer SF" message, Counsyl is also teaming up with Bright Pink, a national nonprofit on a mission to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.

“Finding out you have a greater-than-average risk of cancer can be nerve-wracking, but it can also give you the chance to do something about it, like work with your doctor to develop a prevention or treatment program,” said Kaylene Ready, Director of Inherited Cancer at Counsyl. “Our ‘Get Ahead of Cancer SF’ program is about giving women access to information and the ability to potentially stop cancer in its tracks.”

The screening process is simple. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, women in the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to request a Counsyl screen through the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center or participating local OB/GYNs. Patients submit either a saliva or blood sample to Counsyl and receive their results within two weeks. Following the free screening, women will have access to on-demand genetic counseling with one of Counsyl’s board-certified genetic counselors. The counseling team has engaged in more than 10,000 hours of genetic counseling sessions to date and helps patients understand their results quickly, so they are empowered to make informed decisions about their health.

“We are pleased to work with Counsyl as a partner in bringing low-cost testing to women because of their proven commitment to quality results, physician involvement, and patient education,” said Dr. Pam Munster, breast cancer specialist UCSF. “I feel confident that my patients will be guided through the testing process with care."

Currently, narrow medical guidelines exclude many women from being eligible for screening, meaning many women only find out about their elevated genetic risk once a cancer diagnosis is made. Detecting cancer early dramatically improves the odds of survival, and knowing about a mutation enables women to work with their healthcare provider to increase the chance of early detection. Counsyl is encouraging all women in the San Francisco Bay Area to get screened—particularly those who are at high and elevated risk, like women of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry who have a 1/40 chance of being a carrier of BRCA.

“By spreading the ‘Get Ahead of Cancer’ message, we have the opportunity to empower women with knowledge that can greatly impact their health,” said Lindsay Avner, Founder and CEO, Bright Pink. “We strive for all women to know their breast and ovarian cancer risk, and how to manage it through risk reduction and early detection.”

In addition to the Inherited Cancer Screen, Counsyl offers two other types of genetic screens, all of which require a health care provider’s involvement. The Family Prep Screen looks at parents’ DNA for serious inherited diseases that they can unknowingly pass on to their future children. With access to this information, couples can better prepare as they look to grow their family. The Informed Pregnancy Screen provides early insight into a baby’s genetic development using non-invasive methods and can be performed in the first trimester. (These are not part of the limited-time program for free screening.)

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About Counsyl:
Counsyl is a health technology company that offers DNA screening for men, women, and their children. Their philosophy is simple: focus on diseases where advanced knowledge makes a difference in health outcomes, whether it’s changing a behavior, pursuing preventative measures, or simply preparing for what lies ahead.

The Counsyl team includes an accomplished group of problem-solvers — top engineers, scientists, and designers — who are taking the lead on building the modern clinical laboratory. By using automation technology and software to reimagine the clinical lab, Counsyl has unlocked a scalable platform that generates more meaningful health insights for a fraction of the cost at industry-leading speed. Counsyl pairs this high tech approach with a high touch solution for delivering test results: patient reports created with a design sensibility, and supplemented with a genetic counseling service that rivals the top 10 US hospitals.

Counsyl has screened hundreds of thousands of patients and served over 8,000 health care professionals in its CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited and NYS CLEP-permitted clinical laboratory. From the purely mechanical to the profoundly human, Counsyl strives to make DNA screening truly accessible to everyone.


Allison+Partners, for Counsyl
Linda Vejnoska, 415-875-3043


Allison+Partners, for Counsyl
Linda Vejnoska, 415-875-3043