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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.

Related Force Information

BROCA Test for Ovarian Cancer Risk
Article in Fall 2012 Joining FORCEs Newsletter about new test for ovarian cancer risk in BRCA-negative families.

Confronting Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer
This FORCE-endorsed book was written by founder and Executive Director Sue Friedman; geneticist Rebecca Sutphen, MD; and health writer, Kathy Steligo. This book is a comprehensive resource on all topics related to hereditary cancer, genetic testing, and risk-management.

Noncarriers in BRCA1/BRCA2 families do not have increased risk of breast cancer
Article on research from 2011 indicating that women who test "true negative" (they didn't inherit the BRCA mutation in their family) do not have elevated risk for breast cancer.

Genetic Testing: Finding The Right Specialist Can Make A Difference
July 2008 FORCE blog about the importance of seeing an expert in cancer genetics prior to and after genetic testing.

Happy New Year: You’re At High Risk
Winter 2006 FORCE newsletter article that highlights the importance of seeing a genetics expert prior to genetic testing

The Impact of Genetic Testing without Genetic Counseling For a Young Woman
Spring 2008 FORCE newsletter article by a young previvor who received genetic testing without the benefit of genetic counseling

Understanding BRCA Test Results (Fall 2006)
Fall 2006 newsletter article describing the different possible results from genetic testing.


Positive Results
by Joi Morris and Ora Gordon, MD
One part memoir, three parts guidebook, Positive Results explains in a clear and steady manner the myths and realities of “the breast cancer genes.”

Other Websites

Genetests list of genetics professionals
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, maintains a database of clinics that offer genetic counseling and genetic testing services.

FAQs About Genetic Counselors
A brief article published by the National Society of Genetic Counselors

Genetic Nursing Credentialling Commission
GNCC offers a credentialling program for nurses that receive advance training in genetics. They list credentialed nurses by state on their website.

Cancer Genetics Services Directory
This database is produced and maintained by the National Cancer Institute. To find cancer genetics professionals who specialize in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, choose one or both of the BRCA options in the form's "Family Cancer Syndrome" selection list. You can limit your search by city, state, or country (U.S. and Canada only).

Informed Medical Decisions
This company provides full telephone genetic counseling by board-certified genetic counselors.

National Cancer Institute PDQ
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has information on cancer genetics that is regularly updated. Included in the PDQ is a table that outlines the strengths and weaknesses of different breast cancer risk assessment models

National Society of Genetic Counselors Lookup Tool
Search for certified genetic counselors by specialty, city and state.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered