WHAT IS GENETIC TESTING AND GENETIC COUNSELING?
Genetic testing is a blood test to determine if you have an abnormal gene that may increase your risk for particular types of cancers.
Genetic counseling is not psychotherapy or long term mental health counseling. It is the process of assessing your personal and family history to determine the likelihood you may be at an increased risk of cancer.
At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers we believe knowledge is a powerful asset when making important decisions. You can complete a genetic counseling consultation and choose not to be tested, however, you cannot complete the blood test without first consulting with a genetic counselor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M A CANDIDATE FOR GENETIC TESTING AND COUNSELING?
If you have a history of cancer in your family, talk with your doctor about whether a referral for genetic counseling will help you make informed decisions regarding management of your health and reducing your risk of developing cancer.
Only about 5-10 percent of all cancers are inherited but individuals who inherit an abnormal gene have a greater chance of developing particular types of cancers within their lifetime and at a younger age.
HOW DOES THE GENETIC COUNSELING PROCESS WORK?
The genetic counseling portion of your evaluation begins with you completing and returning an in-depth personal and family medical history questionnaire. A genetic counselor and a medical oncologist will meet with you to review your information.
This collaborative approach to cancer risk assessments involving both medical professionals is unique to Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers and one of the things we believe sets our program apart from others.
Based on the cancer risk assessment from the genetic counseling consultation, if genetic testing is indicated and you wish to proceed, your blood can typically be drawn in our office the same day. You may be asked to return for a second visit to review your genetic test results.
WHERE DO I GO FOR MY APPOINTMENT?
If you are an existing Rocky Mountain Cancer Center patient, your appointment will typically be at the location where you see your medical oncologist.
If you are a new patient, you may see one of our board certified genetic counselors at the clinic location that is most convenient to you.
Prior to your appointment, complete the Genetic Counseling Family History Questionnaire.
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR GENETIC COUNSELING AND TESTING?
Many health insurance companies pay for genetic counseling. If you are new to Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, our financial counselors will check your insurance benefits and inform you of any costs associated with the genetic counseling consultation.
There are numerous different genetic tests and labs to choose from, therefore your genetic counselor will discuss the cost of genetic testing during your visit.
HOW COULD GENETIC COUNSELING OR GENETIC TESTING AFFECT MY INSURABILITY?
Based on published data, national consensus and our experience, genetic discrimination in respect to health insurance is uncommon. For information see the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)