Leaders in Cancer Genetics

Stanford's Cancer Genetics Program doctors and researchers have been instrumental in developing many of the leading technologies used to understand, diagnose, test and screen for hereditary cancer syndromes. This expertise allows our specialists to offer you personalized plans for managing your cancer risk.

Cancer Genetics Program
875blakewilburdr-stanford
875 Blake Wilbur Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: 650-498-6000 Getting Here
Maps & Directions
875 Blake Wilbur Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: 650-498-6000 Getting Here

Our Doctors

Care and Treatment of Hereditary Cancers

What Is a Chromosome?

The human body is made up of cells. For example, when you have a sunburn your skin peels, and you are shedding skin "cells." In the center of each cell is an area called the nucleus. Human chromosomes are located in the nucleus of the cell. A chromosome is a structure in the nucleus that contains your genes. Your genes determine your traits, such as eye color and blood type.

How are chromosomes inherited?

The usual number of chromosomes in each cell of your body is 46 total chromosomes, or 23 pairs. You inherit half of your chromosomes (one member of each pair) from your biological mother, and the other half (the matching member of each pair) from your biological father.

Scientists have numbered the chromosome pairs from 1 to 22, with the 23rd pair labeled as Xs or Ys, depending on the structure. The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are called "autosomes." The 23rd pair of chromosomes are known as the "sex chromosomes," because they determine whether someone will be born male or female. Females have two "X" chromosomes, and males have one "X" and one "Y" chromosome. A picture of all 46 chromosomes, in their pairs, is called a karyotype. A normal female karyotype is written 46, XX, and a normal male karyotype is written 46, XY. 

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

Before beginning treatment, ask your doctor about any clinical trials you should consider. Learn more about clinical trials for cancer patients.

For Patients

PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Review the New Patient Packet for information about:

  • What to expect on the day of your appointment
  • Maps, directions, parking, public transit options, and contact information
  • Other patient resources

Bring completed forms found in the New Patient Appointment Letter and Pre-Visit Questionnaire.

AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENT

See the BRCA Decision Tool which guides the management of cancer risks for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

MEDICAL RELEASE

Please fax the Medical Record Release Form to your new patient coordinator. The medical release form is an authorization form for external facilities to release medical records to Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics). 

International Patients
Phone: +1 650-723-8561
Email: IMS@stanfordmed.org

Call us to make an appointment

650-498-6000

For Health Care Professionals

PHYSICIAN HELPLINE

Phone: 1-866-742-4811
Fax: 650-320-9443
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics) provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.

HOW TO REFER

Fax a referral form with supporting documentation to 650-320-9443.

Please note, though this form is from Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), it is also used for all Cancer Center referrals.

Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers securely online.

Learn More About PRISM »