Most cancer happens by chance. However, in some families there is an
increased risk for cancer due to a gene alteration that can be
inherited. Having knowledge of such genetic alterations in a family can
allow individuals to make informed decisions regarding cancer
prevention through screening, surgeries or additional medical management
What is a genetic counseling session?
genetic counseling session you will meet with a specially trained health
professional and discuss your personal and/or family history of
cancer. This is done to determine your risk of having a genetic
alteration that can cause an increased chance for cancer.
What should I expect at a genetic counseling session?
counseling sessions typically take between 1-2 hours. During this time
you will discuss your medical history and family history. Typically, a
family history questionnaire will be sent to you before your
appointment. This questionnaire is important in gathering relevant
information about the family history of cancer and will be used to
determine your individualized cancer risk assessment.
Who should consider genetic counseling?
who have a personal and/or family history that includes any of the
following may benefit from a genetic counseling session:
- Breast, colorectal or uterine cancer diagnosed at an early age (age 50 or younger) or ovarian cancer at any age
- Multiple family members diagnosed with cancer
- Several family members diagnosed with the same cancer
- Two or more types of cancer have been diagnosed in the same person
- A family member has already been diagnosed with a hereditary cancer or rare type of tumor
Why should I have genetic counseling?
One of the
primary goals of genetic counseling is to clarify hereditary cancer
risks. This information may be beneficial to you and your family.
Genetic counseling also provides information and options so you can make
an informed decision about genetic testing and your cancer screening
Is there a fee for genetic counseling?
no charge for the genetic counseling at the John Stoddard Cancer
Center. There is a fee for lab work and genetic testing. Many
laboratories will facilitate pre-authorization from insurance companies
before the genetic test is started. Scheduling a genetic counseling
session does not mean that you have to undergo genetic testing. The
decision to have genetic testing is a personal decision. John Stoddard
Cancer Center does provide genetic testing if that is something you're interested in learning more about.