Genetic counseling is a critical component of the cancer risk assessment process. Counseling for hereditary cancer syndromes uses a broad approach to place genetic risk in the context of other risk factors, thereby customizing counseling to the experiences of the individual.
The purpose of cancer genetic counseling is to educate individuals about the genetic, biological, and environmental factors related to a cancer diagnosis and/or risk of disease to help them derive personal meaning from cancer genetic information, and empower them to make educated, informed decisions about genetic testing, cancer screening, and cancer prevention. Individuals need to understand the relevant genetic, medical, and psychosocial information and be able to integrate this information before they can make an informed decision.
The presentation of information is most effective when tailored to the age and education of the person undergoing counseling, and that individual’s personal exposure to the disease, level of risk, and social environment.
The Resources tab contains information about how to find a genetic counselor.