When it comes to genetics, knowledge is powerful.
Knowledge You Can Use
Our geneticists and genetic counselors provide clear, accurate information that empowers you and your family to make evidence-based healthcare decisions in line with your values.
A Continuum of Care
Our nationally and internationally recognized physicians specialize in a wide range of common and rare genetic conditions in adults and children.
Our medical genetics department is a national leader in quality of care, scope of services, innovative research and academic reputation.
Meet the provider: Edith Cheng, M.D.
Dr. Cheng is a board-certified maternal-fetal medicine physician and medical geneticist whose interests include prenatal diagnosis, genetic conditions and genetic counseling. View full bio.
Some of our common services:
Many cardiac conditions have a genetic basis. Our specialists in the fast-growing field of cardiovascular genetics can effectively screen patients for hereditary diseases of the heart and connective tissue disorders affecting blood vessels. We offer the most current genetic testing, genetic counseling and personalized medicine for patients with familial cardiac diseases.
This is an inherited type of arrhythmia, which means irregular heartbeat. There are different types of genetic arrhythmias, but most have similar symptoms, which include dizziness, fainting and heart palpitations during exercise or stress. Our specialists can accurately diagnose this condition and refer you to other specialists for further care if necessary.
This congenital heart defect causes the heart muscle to lose the ability to pump blood well over time. We can effectively diagnose this condition, help identify your risk of passing it on to your children and provide supportive genetic counseling.
Many types of eye disorders are caused by genetic factors, including those that result in vision loss in children and adults. We can accurately diagnose a wide range of genetic eye diseases, predict the severity of a disease and help you understand your risk of developing one or passing one on to your children.
Sometimes children are born with a number of different congenital defects. Successfully managing multiple genetic problems often requires a team of skilled specialists. Our geneticists contribute in-depth knowledge about many common and rare inherited conditions that can help family members and caregivers make the best possible decisions about a child's medical, psychosocial and developmental care.
Certain genetic disorders and gene mutations can increase the risk of various types of cancer. Our geneticists can accurately identify these gene mutations and underlying disorders and provide in-depth counseling on your risk of developing specific cancers, including breast, ovarian and colon cancer, based on your genetic results.
A number of gene mutations can contribute to a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, kidney, thyroid, pancreatic, prostate and others. If you have a family history of cancer or would like to find out whether you're at increased risk, we offer genetic testing and counseling for many types of hereditary cancers.
This inherited disorder is characterized by tumors and cysts that can develop throughout the body. Although typically non-cancerous, these growths can cause serious or life-threatening complications. People with this disorder are also at greater risk for developing certain types of kidney and pancreatic cancer. Our geneticists can determine whether you have this condition or at risk for passing it on.
This is a group of mostly rare, inherited disorders caused by gene mutations that affect certain aspects of your body's metabolism — the chemical process that sustains life. They can affect organs or entire body systems. Our genetic specialists are highly trained in diagnosing metabolic disorders and can accurately predict your risk of developing one or passing it to your children.
This rare genetic disorder is caused by a missing enzyme that breaks down fatty substances called lipids. As a result, lipids build up in certain organs. This condition can affect your spleen, liver, lungs, brain, eyes and bones. Our specialists can accurately diagnose this disease, or determine your or your children's risk of developing it.
This is a broad term for inherited conditions caused by gene mutations that affect the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. There are many types of neurogenetic conditions, and they can cause a wide range of symptoms. These include delays in physical and emotional development, muscle and movement problems, vision and hearing problems and epilepsy.
Autism is a complex disorder that affects the nervous system, as well as growth and development in childhood. Researchers don't know all the causes of autism but have identified genetic variants that are known risk factors for the condition. Our genetic testing can reveal whether you or your child has these genetic mutations.
This genetic disorder, which is also called hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, causes nerve damage, most often in the arms and legs. Symptoms include weaker muscles, trouble walking and foot deformities. Our specialists can diagnose this condition by taking a thorough family history and performing a neurological exam and genetic testing.
Also called Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal type of motor neuron disease characterized by progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It eventually causes trouble breathing and swallowing, and paralysis. There are two main types of ALS, one of which is inherited. Our specialists can diagnose this disease with clinical and genetic tests.
Ataxia is a group of inherited neurological disorders that cause degeneration in the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement. Complications are serious and can be debilitating and life-shortening. Our specialists can diagnose ataxia using a combination of clinical tests, family history and genetic testing.
Epilepsy is a group of related disorders in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disturbed, causing seizures. Certain types of epilepsy are inherited. Our genetic specialists can determine whether you or your child has hereditary epilepsy, as well as your risk for passing it on.
This is a group of more than 30 inherited diseases that result in progressive degeneration and weakening of skeletal muscles over time. The symptoms of muscular dystrophy can often be managed, but it is usually life-shortening. The condition is caused by a gene mutation, which our genetic specialists can identify with an accurate test.
A chromosomal disorder occurs when a child is born with a missing, extra or irregular chromosome, the threadlike structure inside cells that carries genetic information. Most chromosomal disorders aren't passed from one generation to the next. But because they affect genes, our specialists can diagnose them using specialized tests.
This chromosomal condition affects development in females, with symptoms that can include short stature, loss of ovarian function, heart defects and developmental delays. It's caused by a missing or structurally altered X chromosome. Our specialists are experts at identifying this condition with hormone testing and chromosomal analysis.
Gene mutations can cause a wide variety of hereditary skin conditions ranging from mild to disfiguring. Our genetic specialists are experts at diagnosing common and rare inherited skin disorders based on clinical exams, family history and genetic testing.
We offer the most advanced genetic testing available, including comprehensive gene panels and exome and genome sequencing, as well as in-depth genetic counseling. We can diagnose and educate you about your genetic disease, predict how severe it might be, counsel you on your risk of developing an inherited disease or passing one on and screen newborns for genetic conditions.
Hereditary connective tissue disorders are caused by mutations in genes responsible for building connective tissue. People with these disorders might have problems with the development, appearance or function of skin, bones, joints, heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes and ears.
An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of the aorta that's at risk for bursting. People with connective tissue disorders are at greater risk for developing aortic aneurysms. In addition, all types of aneurysms have a genetic component. Our specialists can assess your risk of developing an aneurysm based on family history and genetic testing.
This inherited disorder of the connective tissue most commonly affects the heart, eyes, blood vessels and bones. If the disorder affects the aorta, it can be life-threatening. People with Marfan syndrome are usually tall and thin with disproportionately long limbs. Our specialists can diagnose Marfan syndrome based on signs, family history and genetic testing.
This genetic bone disorder, also called brittle bone disease, is characterized by fragile bones that break easily. Our specialists can accurately identify osteogenesis imperfecta based on family history, a physical exam, advanced imaging and a genetic test.
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Genetic Counseling and Testing Services at SCCA
825 Eastlake Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98109 / 206.606.7222
Genetic Medicine Clinic at UWMC
1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 981957720 / 206.598.4030
High Risk Screening and Genetics Clinic at Valley
Medical Arts Center, 4033 Talbot Road South, Suite 470 , Renton, WA 98055 / 425.656.5062
Kidney Genetics Clinic at Harborview
410 9th Ave., 7th Floor, Seattle, WA 98104 / 206.744.3622
Maternal Fetal Medicine and Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic at Valley
4033 Talbot Rd. S, Ste. 450, Renton, WA 98055 / 425.656.5520
Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic at Seattle Children's
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 / 206.987.5629
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Health News You Can Use
Hereditary hemochromatosis (iron absorption)
Hereditary hemochromatosis (iron absorption)
Hereditary hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders in the U.S. It causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. It is passed down from parents through their genes.
Each person’s symptoms can vary. Symptoms may include: lack of energy (lethargy) and weakness, irritability, depression, joint pain, bronze or yellowish skin color, loss of body hair, infection and more.
You may be born with this condition if you inherit two hemochromatosis genes, one from each parent. If you have only one gene, you won’t have symptoms but you are considered a gene carrier, and you have a greater chance of having a child with hemochromatosis.
This disease is usually confirmed through a routine blood test, which checks your iron level and measures the percentage of iron in ferritin and transferrin proteins. Knowing the transferrin level can help identify the disease early.
Treatment may include removing blood from your body until iron levels return to normal, using medicine to remove iron and reducing alcohol consumption. If iron content in your blood returns to normal before organ damage occurs, you can live a normal lifespan with this disorder.
Hemochromatosis is a lifelong condition. It can cause problems if iron levels in the blood are not kept at normal levels. If not treated, hemochromatosis can lead to liver function problems and an enlarged liver, abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure, an enlarged spleen or diabetes.