Genetic counselors are specially trained health care professionals with skills in medical genetics and counseling who work in a variety of settings, including cancer genetic risk assessment. We provide information and support to families who may be at risk for inherited conditions.
Consider meeting with a genetic counselor if you or a relative (aunts/uncles, grandparents, cousins, parents, siblings, and children):
- Have had cancer at a young age (before age 50), and/or
- Had two or more separate cancers, and/or
- Have multiple family members with cancer
A genetic counselor will evaluate your family health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk. If genetic testing is available, the counselor will tell you about the tests and help you decide if testing would be useful to you.
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Have you ever wondered if genetic testing would be a good idea for you? A genetic counselor can help you throughout the process. There are many different things the counselor can help with, including
• If testing is available, the counselor will have information about cost and possible benefits and harms of the testing. The counselor will also help you explore what the results of testing will mean for you and your family.
• Cancer genetic testing is different from some other types of testing because a positive test result does not always mean that you will get cancer. If you test positive for a variation in a cancer gene, it means you are more likely to get cancer. Continue Reading »
Why see a cancer genetic counselor?
Some types of cancer run in families, which presents future generations with a higher risk of having those cancers. If you’ve had cancer at a young age, had two or more separate cancers or have several family members who have battled cancer, you may want to think about genetic counseling and perhaps genetic testing.
A cancer genetic counselor will evaluate your family health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk. If genetic testing is available, the counselor will tell you about the tests and help you decide if testing would be valuable to you.
If you have had cancer, genetic testing may be useful to you and your medical team for making decisions about cancer management.
If you have not had cancer, these assessments can help you understand your risk for cancer and the risks for other members of the family. Continue Reading »