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Cancer Genetics

Genetic Counseling - Getting the Information You Need

Qualifications of Cancer Genetic Counselors

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.

Cancer Genetic Counseling

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:

What to Expect in a Genetic Counseling Session

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:

Who should consider cancer genetic counseling and/or testing?


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Last Reviewed: Jun 22, 2011

Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University