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Genetic Counseling & Risk Assessment

Learn about genes and cancer, signs of hereditary cancer, genetic counseling, types of genetic tests and what results mean for you and your family.

Finding a genetics specialist

Health care providers who are specially trained in genetics can help you more clearly understand your risk for hereditary cancer. Geneticists are physicians with specialized expertise in hereditary diseases. Certified genetic counselors are health care professionals who have had specialized training and have earned a Master's degree in genetic counseling. There are several ways to find a genetics expert:

  • The National Society of Genetic Counselor website offers a searchable directory for finding a certified genetic counselor by state and specialty. To find a genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics, choose "cancer" under the options "Area of Practice/Specialization." 
  • Informed DNA is a network of board-certified genetic counselors providing this service by telephone. They can also help you find a qualified expert in your area for face-to-face genetic counseling if that is your preference. 
  • The National Center of Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, maintains the Gene Tests website. This website lists clinics that provide genetic counseling and testing. 
  • The National Cancer Institute provides a list of health care providers offering genetic counseling and testing. This tool also provides information on the certification of the health care providers listed.
  • FORCE's toll-free helpline at: 866-288-RISK, ext. 704, can connect you with a volunteer board-certified genetic counselor who can answer general questions about genetic testing and hereditary cancer and help you find a genetic counselor near you. 
  • FORCE Peer Navigator Program will match you with a volunteer who has undergone genetic counseling and can help you navigate resources to find a genetic counselor near you. 
     

Updated 8/31/16

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered