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6 Important Questions to Ask Your Genetic Counselor

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If you’ve taken our hereditary cancer quiz and learned that you might be at risk for hereditary cancer, it’s time to consider a genetic testing consultation. Your hereditary cancer specialist or genetic counselor will meet with you to go over your quiz results, discuss exactly how genetic testing works, and answer any questions you may have about the actual test and the results you may see. To prepare for your appointment, here are six questions to ask your genetic counselor or specialist.

1. What can I learn from genetic testing?
Genetic testing can provide valuable information to help you and your family take proactive measures in preserving your health. There are a variety of genetic tests for different types of hereditary cancer syndromes. Your specialist will go over exactly what information you might learn from your test based on your family’s cancer history and/or your own.

2. What tests are available based on my family’s cancer history?
Depending on your cancer history and your family’s cancer history, your specialist will identify appropriate genes to test.

3. How much does it cost and will insurance cover it?
Genetic testing is covered by most major insurances. The cost will vary from clinic to clinic, so be sure to ask your specialist during your consultation.

4. If I do have a mutation, what does this mean in regards to my cancer risk?
If your results indicate that you do carry a gene mutation, your specialist will go over next steps. This result does not mean you have cancer, but it does mean that you face an increased risk of developing cancer. Your specialist will help you come up with a management plan which can include increased screenings, preventative care, emotional support, and information to share with your family.

5. If I don’t have a mutation, what does this mean in regards to my cancer risk?
If your results indicate that you do not carry a gene mutation, your specialist will go over what the negative results mean given your particular family history and how it affects your future cancer risk.

6. Should I tell my family about my test results?
Your specialist will review your results and let you know which information is important to share with your family.

In addition to this list of questions, it’s important to come to your genetic testing consultation appointment with information on close family members with cancer as well as your personal cancer history information. Your specialist is here to guide you through the process, offering emotional support and personalized care.

Learn more about the hereditary cancer specialists with whom we partner and their genetic testing processes. If you have questions about genetic testing or how to book an appointment, feel free to call our patient care coordinators at (855) 252-8124

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