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Question:

Who should see a genetic counselor?

Answer:

A person should consult with a genetic counselor if there are questions about his/her genetic health related to pregnancy, cancer, or other conditions.

Here are examples of people who may benefit from genetic counseling:

  • Someone who is thinking of becoming pregnant and has questions about genetic risks to their children
  • Someone who receives test results indicating that their future children may be at risk for a genetic condition (such as abnormal carrier screening, or pregnancy-related blood tests or ultrasounds)
  • Someone who has a child or family member diagnosed with a genetic condition
  • Someone who is concerned that he/she might have symptoms of a genetic disease
  • Someone who has a family history of cancer, heart disease or other genetic conditions, and wants to know if they or their family members are also at risk

A genetic counselor will take a thorough medical and family history, will assess risks for genetic diseases, and will offer options for appropriate testing. When the results of testing are available, the genetic counselor will review them and will help people think through decisions related to their genetic risks.

To locate a genetic counselor in your area, click here: Find a Genetic Counselor

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