Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
Consulting with an expert in cancer genetics is the best way to ensure receiving the most up-to-date and credible information. Genetic counseling consists of one or more appointments with a genetics expert in-person, by telephone or by video. The first genetic counseling session usually involves an in-depth discussion of the following:
The genetic counselor will want to know family medical history going back three generations, including:
Once they evaluate your personal and family medical history, a genetic counselor will discuss other tools that may further clarify your risk for cancer, including genetic testing. A genetic counselor will not try to talk you into or out of testing but will discuss its benefits, risks, costs, and limitations.
If you decide to proceed with genetic testing, the counselor will:
Once your results have returned from the lab, the counselor will schedule a post-test disclosure apppointment. This appointment is important; the genetic counselor will:
If you are considering genetic counseling or genetic testing and need help getting started, FORCE's Peer Navigation Program will match you with a specially trained volunteer who will provide 1:1 personalized peer support and expert reviewed resources. You can also call FORCE's Toll-free Helpline and speak with a genetics expert volunteer who can answer general questions and help you find a genetics expert near you. You can also visit this page to find a genetics expert near you.