You may see this title every so often, but do you really know what a genetic counselor does?
No worries, I am here to explain.
A genetic counselor:
- Is a member of a healthcare team
- Assesses your risk for a health problem that runs in your family
- Teaches you about your genetics
- Provides information and emotional support
- Helps you decide if genetic testing is an option and guides you through the possibilities
- (if you choose to undergo testing, your counselor will meet with you to interpret the results and discuss options for further testing or preventative measure)
- Explains possible treatment options or management strategies
- Connects you to support groups and resources
- Teaches you about surveillance, prevention strategies, and research trials related to your individual situation
Genetic counseling can be extremely helpful in alleviating your anxiety and confusion about hereditary disease. Genetic science is a complex and rapidly advancing field, but a genetic counselor has the expertise and experience to help you navigate it.
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