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Friday, April 25, 2014
Medical geneticists and genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized training and experience in human and medical genetics and counseling who can give information and supportive counseling concerning many disorders or abnormalities. Cancer genetic counselors and cancer geneticists specialize in counseling families about inherited forms of cancer. Genetic specialists should have certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling or the American Board of Medical Genetics.
Genetic counseling is available to individuals and families with a medical history or increased personal risk for a wide range of genetic conditions. Genetic counseling provides patient with:
Genetic counselors and geneticists provide information about certain genetic conditions including:
During a typical genetic counseling session for cancer susceptibility, the genetic professional will take a very detailed cancer family history by asking questions such as:
Genetics counselors also:
Genetic counselors can also help families work through decisions about whether to have testing and can explore the issues that surround genetic testing and offer support throughout the testing process. Some examples of the services offered by genetic counselors include:
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: Jun 22, 2011
Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University