Karen Vikstrom

Karen Vikstrom,

Genetic Counseling
Accepting new patients

Genetic Counselor Profile

How do our genes affect our health, and what can we do about it?

That is the kind of question I try to answer through genetic counseling and testing at NorthBay.

What we know about genes and their connection to cancer has exploded in recent years. Genetics is a field that constantly changes, and this is important to me because I love to learn.

Any physician at NorthBay can refer a patient for genetic risk evaluation. When a patient is referred to me, the first step is to get a detailed medical "pedigree" for them. I ask a lot of questions about every individual in the family - those with cancer and those without. If genetic testing is indicated, a saliva or blood sample is collected.

Helping patients piece together a plan that will hopefully keep them and their loved ones healthy is what gives me the greatest satisfaction in my work. I feel like I've done a good job when a patient feels empowered and able to move forward with confidence and hope.

Outside of work, I am a mother of four and that takes up much of my free time. When we are able to find time, we love to hike and our new thing is to explore parts of the Pacific Crest Trail. When I'm home, I will plug in earphones and listen to a podcasts while gardening or cooking.


1020 Nut Tree Road
Vacaville, California 95687

Languages Spoken:

  • English