When you are scheduled for a genetic counseling visit, you will be mailed a questionnaire about your personal medical history and your family history. You are asked to complete this information and either mail the questionnaire back or bring it with you to your appointment.
At your appointment, you will meet with the genetic counselor. The initial genetic counseling appointment can last from 30 to 90 minutes.
The genetic counselor will review your medical history and your family history with you.
You will learn about the causes of genetic conditions. The counselor will evaluate your personal and family history to see if there may be a genetic reason for your personal and/or family history of cancer.
If appropriate, the genetic counselor will discuss potential options for genetic testing. She will guide you through decision making about genetic testing.
Information about the cost of genetic testing and insurance coverage will be discussed, as well as information about current genetic legislation.
Some individuals choose to go home and think about the option of genetic testing and discuss this with their family. You do not have to make a decision about whether or not to have genetic testing at the time of your visit. These individuals are encouraged to contact the genetic counselor if they decide to pursue genetic testing and then this can be arranged.
If genetic testing is appropriate and you would like to proceed with testing, then testing may begin the day of your visit. Depending on the test, you may have blood drawn or provide a mouthwash or saliva sample.
The genetic counselor will contact you with your genetic testing results when they are available. Usually, most genetic testing results take a few weeks. However, the length of time may vary depending on the specific genetic test and the genetic counselor will discuss this with you. You will be mailed a copy of your results for your records. When you are given your results, the genetic counselor will discuss the meaning of these results for you and your family and review medical management options. Often patients are referred to other medical professionals.