air jordans canada goose outlet legend blue 11s jordan retro 7 beats by dre cheap Michael Kors outlet jordan 7 canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s canada goose jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet nike retro jordans coach factory retro jordans nike legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap uggs outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 uggs outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton louis vuitton sac nike air max jordan retro 12 jordan 12 moncler jackets louis vuitton sac nike free run moncler jackets jordan 7 retro jordans retro jordans jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet legend blue 11s jordan 7 jordan retro 7 canada goose canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 nike legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s air jordans canada goose outlet coach outlet moncler jackets coach outlet jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 louis vuitton sac louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap jordan 12 nike free run nike air max louis vuitton louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap moncler jackets sac louis vuitton nike air max moncler jackets louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 canada goose outlet retro jordans Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s canada goose outlet coach outlet coach factory canada goose outlet retro jordans Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s canada goose outlet canada goose outlet beats by dre cheap canada goose outlet canada goose legend blue 11s retro jordans canada goose outlet moncler jackets nike free run nike air max moncler jackets nike air max nike air max uggs outlet beats by dre cheap uggs coach outlet nike free run louis vuitton outlet nike free run uggs outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton sac louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap moncler jackets nike air max canada goose outlet nike jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet canada goose outlet nike jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet coach factory Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet legend blue 11s air jordans nike Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet sac louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet uggs nike air max louis vuitton sac nike air max beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap nike air max jordan 12 nike air max moncler jackets nike free run coach outlet coach outlet moncler jackets jordan retro 12 coach outlet Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet nike coach outlet Michael Kors outlet canada goose jordan retro 7 canada goose nike retro jordans canada goose outlet beats by dre cheap canada goose outlet retro jordans Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 12 nike free run moncler jackets nike free run louis vuitton sac jordan retro 12 moncler jackets louis vuitton sac louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet coach outlet uggs outlet moncler jackets louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet nike free run coach outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 moncler jackets jordan 4 jordan 4 jordan retro 11 jordan 11 jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet air jordan 11 canada goose sale uggs on sale jordan retro 11 louis vuitton pas cher jordan 4 jordan retro 7 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet canada goose outlet french blue 7s jordan retro 4 uggs on sale louis vuitton jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 air jordans jordan 13 canada goose outlet jordan 11 canada goose sale canada goose outlet jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet jordan 7 french blue jordan 7 french blue jordan 11 legend blue 11s air jordan 4 jordan retro 11 french blue 7s michael kors outlet jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet uggs outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan 4 air jordans jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton jordan 11 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 11 uggs on sale red cements 10s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 air jordans jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet michael kors outlet french blue 7s louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 jordan 11 canada goose outlet jordan 4 oreo michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan retro 4 jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet
Home > Learn > What Is Genetic Counseling?
Untitled Document

 

 

beats by dre cheap coach outlet canada goose canada goose outlet legend blue 11s legend blue 11s legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet nike nike jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s canada goose outlet retro jordans beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet nike free run jordan retro 12 coach outlet louis vuitton sac sac louis vuitton louis vuitton sac moncler jackets jordan retro 12 moncler jackets beats by dre cheap moncler jackets jordan retro 12 moncler jackets louis vuitton sac louis vuitton outlet moncler jackets beats by dre cheap jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet beats by dre cheap jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet canada goose outlet canada goose Michael Kors outlet beats by dre cheap jordan retro 7 retro jordans nike Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet nike beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 coach outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 nike air max jordan retro 12 beats by dre cheap coach outlet louis vuitton sac coach outlet jordan retro 12 nike free run moncler jackets moncler jackets nike air max jordan retro 12 canada goose outlet air jordans jordan 7 canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet nike canada goose outlet canada goose outlet Michael Kors outlet nike coach outlet jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet retro jordans jordan retro 7 retro jordans Michael Kors outlet beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap uggs outlet beats by dre cheap louis vuitton sac nike air max jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap nike air max jordan retro 12 moncler jackets moncler jackets moncler jackets louis vuitton sac jordan retro 12 uggs outlet coach outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 coach outlet jordan retro 7 nike nike Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 canada goose Michael Kors outlet jordan 7 canada goose outlet coach factory Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 12 moncler jackets louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet coach outlet jordan retro 12 coach outlet beats by dre cheap nike air max jordan retro 12 nike free run sac louis vuitton jordan retro 12 moncler jackets louis vuitton outlet Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s canada goose canada goose outlet Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet nike coach outlet Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet beats by dre coach outlet legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 nike nike Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s louis vuitton sac louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton sac nike free run uggs uggs jordan 12 moncler jackets beats by dre cheap nike free run louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 jordan 12 uggs outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap louis vuitton sac jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet oreo 4s jordan retro 11 uggs outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 michael kors outlet air jordan 4 jordan retro 11 oreo 4s jordan 11 uggs outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 7 louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 canada goose sale michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan retro 4 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 7 french blue air jordans jordan 4 michael kors outlet louis vuitton french blue 7s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet air jordan 4 jordan 11 jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan 7 french blue jordan 4 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 legend blue jordan retro 4 jordan retro 11 french blue 7s michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan 11 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 4 jordan 11 canada goose sale michael kors outlet retro jordans louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet legend blue 11s
Resources
  What is Genetic Counseling?

By Amy Adams, MS

Reviewed by Kari Danziger, MS, CGC; Jennifer Graham, MS, CGC; Larry Prensky, MS, CGC, CCGC
Last Updated April 11, 2011


Every day researchers are learning more about the genetics of common diseases and how those diseases run in families. If you have an inherited disease in your family, a genetic counseling session can help you understand your personal risk or the risk for other family members. It can also help you learn what testing, surveillance, prevention strategies, or research trials may be right for your situation. In most cases, a genetic counselor will lead the session, but some nurses, doctors, and medical geneticists are also trained to do genetic counseling.

 
 
 

What Is A Genetic Counselor?

Traditionally, a genetic counselor has a masters degree in genetic counseling and has studied genetic diseases and how those diseases run in families. The genetic counselor can help a person or family understand their risk for genetic conditions (such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, or Down syndrome), educate the person or family about that disease, and assess the risk of passing those diseases on to children.

A genetic counselor will often work with families to identify members who are at risk. If it is appropriate, they will discuss genetic testing, coordinate any testing, interpret test results, and review all additional testing, surveillance, surgical, or research options that are available to members of the family.

More on Genetic Testing  

Genetic counselors often work as part of a health care team in conjunction with specially trained doctors, social workers, nurses, medical geneticists, or other specialists to help families make informed decisions about their health. They also work as patient advocates, helping individuals receive additional support and services for their health care needs.

top

 

Who Sees A Genetic Counselor?

Any person who may have a genetic condition, has a family history of an inherited disease, or has other risk factors for a genetic condition or birth defect may benefit from seeing a genetic counselor. If a person's family history indicates the possibility of an inherited disease, their doctor may give them a referral. Some pregnant women may also be referred to genetic counselors to receive counseling about the risks of birth defects or for help in interpreting test results. Pregnant women older than 35 are especially likely to see a genetic counselor because it is standard for them to be offered amniocentesis due to their increased risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.

If you are unsure about whether you would benefit from genetic counseling, Genetic Health's TreeBuilder tool can help clarify whether you have an increased risk for certain genetic conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

Build Your Family Tree With TreeBuilder

top

 

What Happens at A Genetic Counseling Session?

To assess your risk for an inherited condition, a genetic counselor needs to know medical information about you and your family. In some cases, you may need to provide this information when you make the appointment. The genetic counselor will often take a more detailed family medical history and use this information to generate a family tree, which shows all of your relatives, their relationship to you, and diseases they had. This diagram helps the genetic counselor determine your risk for inherited diseases. If you do have an increased risk, the counselor will make sure that you understand the basic genetic concepts that affect how the disease runs in families, educate you about the disease itself, and explain the level of risk for you and your family.

 

A Family Tree for A Family With the Inherited Syndrome FAP

 

After an initial appointment, the genetic counselor may need more information in order to make a final risk assessment. For example, they may need to know results of a pathology report on a relative's tumor, or the exact age when a relative developed a disease. They may also need to review medical records for a relative to clarify a diagnosis.

Once the counselor has established your risk, he or she may discuss options — such as genetic tests if they are available — that may help clarify whether you or members of your family carry a genetic mutation that increases your risk for a particular disease. If there is an appropriate test, the counselor will discuss in detail what information it can give, the risks, benefits, limitations, and other possible consequences of being tested. They also provide detailed follow-up to be sure that you understand what the results mean. Even if genetic testing is not appropriate for your situation, the counselor will help you understand other options to reduce your risk (such as having ovaries removed in women at risk for ovarian cancer) or lifestyle changes that may help your situation. In many cases, the medical team will be involved in designing a plan of action for continued medical management.

The genetic counseling session will usually last at least an hour if not longer. Although some people may only require one session, others will require several sessions if they are pursuing genetic testing or for additional follow-up.

top

What not to Expect From A Genetic Counseling Session

Genetic counseling sessions do not include:

  • Any testing or procedures that you do not explicitly approve. A genetic counselor will carefully explain to you any tests that are possible for your situation. However, they cannot have the test done until you give written consent that you understand and want that particular test. The genetic counselor can not draw blood or use your DNA or test results without your permission.
  • Prescriptions. In most cases, genetic counselors are not medical doctors and do not write prescriptions.
  • Specific medical recommendations. A genetic counselor will try to make sure that you fully understand the risks, benefits, and possible consequences of every option that is available to you. However, the genetic counselor will not make medical decisions for you.
  • Long-term psychological care. Although many genetic counseling sessions include follow-up sessions to be sure that you are able to handle new information about your health, most genetic counselors are not trained to provide long-term psychological care. For example, if results from a genetic test cause emotional problems that disrupt your daily life, the genetic counselor will most likely refer you to a mental health counselor, support group, or other sources of support for your situation.

top

 

How Can I Prepare for A Genetic Counseling Session?

The best way to prepare for a genetic counseling session for adult onset diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes is to find out as much as you can about your family medical history. Talk to your family members and try to find medical information about your siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, children, and grandchildren. At minimum, this information should include:

  • Your relation to each family member, including whether family members are adopted or half-relatives
  • Major health conditions that affect each family member such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease
  • The age of onset for each condition
  • Age of death (where relevant)
  • Cause of death
  • Whether family members had a child with a blood relative

Try to confirm each health condition that affects family members. In many cases, your risk may be different depending on exactly what condition your family member had. For example, if you think that a relative had lung cancer when in fact they had breast cancer, it could seriously affect the accuracy of your risk assessment.

top

How to Find A Genetic Counselor

In many cases, a doctor will refer you to a genetic counselor if it is appropriate for your condition. However, you may be in a situation where you are seeking genetic counseling on your own. Most genetic counselors are associated with a hospital, clinic, or research group. You can try calling your local medical group or clinic. You may also be able to find a genetic counselor through resources such as the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

More on Finding A Genetic Conselor

top

 

How to Find Additional Support

Genetic counselors are trained to provide support for people coping with genetic diseases. However, in many cases people may need long-term support, or support from people going through a similar experience. In these cases, the genetic counselor may be able to recommend support groups for your particular situation. Support groups vary widely in their scope and focus. Also organizations for your particular disease — such as the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, or American Cancer Society — often list support groups.

More on Support Groups

top

 

Related Resources

National Society of Genetic Counselors

The Genetic Alliance contains a database of support groups.

 

References

Bowles, BB and Marteau, TM. (1999) The future of genetic counseling: an international perspective. Nat Genetics, 22(2):133-7.

Schneider, KA. (1994) Counseling About Cancer: Strategies for Genetic Counselors. Massachusetts: Graphic Illusions.

 
<<Previous Article
Main Topic Page
Next Article>>
 How to Find a Genetic Counselor

 

Untitled Document

©Copyright 2011 Latest Medical, Inc.. All Rights Reserved.
Contact Us

coach factory coach outlet canada goose outlet Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s legend blue 11s coach outlet legend blue 11s jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet nike jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet canada goose outlet retro jordans Michael Kors outlet coach factory louis vuitton outlet nike free run beats by dre cheap nike air max moncler jackets sac louis vuitton sac louis vuitton louis vuitton sac louis vuitton outlet moncler jackets jordan retro 12 moncler jackets beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 louis vuitton louis vuitton sac moncler jackets beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 canada goose outlet canada goose nike Michael Kors outlet canada goose canada goose outlet beats by dre air jordans retro jordans legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet canada goose canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap jordan retro 7 louis vuitton outlet moncler jackets louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet nike air max nike free run coach outlet nike free run moncler jackets beats by dre cheap moncler jackets louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap louis vuitton sac coach outlet louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap coach outlet canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 beats by dre cheap canada goose outlet beats by dre legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet retro jordans Michael Kors outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 coach factory jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet coach outlet canada goose retro jordans canada goose outlet beats by dre cheap moncler jackets moncler jackets sac louis vuitton beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet moncler jackets louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap moncler jackets louis vuitton nike free run louis vuitton sac louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton sac jordan retro 12 moncler jackets moncler jackets uggs outlet legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s Michael Kors outlet beats by dre jordan retro 7 Michael Kors outlet retro jordans retro jordans nike canada goose outlet retro jordans canada goose outlet coach factory retro jordans coach outlet air jordans moncler jackets moncler jackets beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap nike air max jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet nike free run jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 moncler jackets moncler jackets jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 moncler jackets sac louis vuitton moncler jackets coach factory jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet retro jordans canada goose outlet coach factory canada goose beats by dre cheap canada goose retro jordans nike air jordans retro jordans retro jordans jordan 7 canada goose outlet legend blue 11s retro jordans jordan retro 7 coach outlet jordan retro 12 louis vuitton outlet nike air max moncler jackets louis vuitton sac beats by dre cheap coach outlet nike air max moncler jackets moncler jackets moncler jackets moncler jackets moncler jackets jordan retro 12 uggs moncler jackets louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 12 jordan retro 12 louis vuitton sac jordan retro 4 michael kors outlet jordan retro 11 jordan 11 jordan 11 uggs outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet red cements 10s air jordan 4 jordan retro 11 uggs outlet french blue 7s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue jordan 4 jordan retro 11 jordan 10 red cements michael kors outlet jordan 13 michael kors outlet air jordans jordan 11 jordan retro 7 jordan 11 jordan retro 4 louis vuitton outlet jordan 4 jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 air jordan 11 air jordans jordan 4 michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet french blue 7s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet air jordans retro jordans french blue 7s uggs on sale michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 11 canada goose uggs on sale jordan 11 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet french blue 7s jordan 4 uggs outlet air jordan 4 jordan 10 red cements jordan 4 jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet uggs outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet jordan 7 french blue air jordans louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan 7 french blue michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan retro 4 jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet jordan retro 11