Why Go Through a Genetic Counselor?

Stick with the experts! Genetic counselors have developed a system to help patients navigate the process of genetic testing. There is constant change and new information in the cancer gene world. It’s important to speak with educated professionals to obtain the correct information. genetic counselors are the experts in cancer genetics so you can rest assured you are receiving the appropriate information.

Genetic counselors help individuals make informed decisions about genetic testing and follow-up care. Meaning, they will help you with your next steps whether or not you decide to have genetic testing performed. If you decide to have genetic testing performed, genetic counselors are going to be your support team as well as your advocate for insurance and billing.

What to Expect

  • Usually, two or more appointments will take place on the phone and/or in person to go through your family history in depth. Here are some pieces of information the genetic counselor will want to know:
  • Who in the family has been diagnosed with cancer and who has not?
  • Where was the original site of the cancer?
  • At what age(s) did diagnosis of cancer occur in the family?
  • Is there any other family health information you feel may be important or out of the ordinary?

Next Steps

Once the genetic counselor evaluates your family medical history, they can give you options and tools, such as genetic testing, to make your results more clear. They will go through the benefits, costs, and consequences of testing.  Here are some things the genetic counselor will assist you with after you have decided to persue hereditary cancer testing. This is HUGE!

  • They will fill out proper paperwork and make sure the genetic test they are ordering is just right for you!
  • They will work with your insurance company as well as the testing facility to make sure the most coverage for the test is being offered.
  • They will obtain a blood or swab sample for the test to submit to the appropriate lab.

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