General Information |
Scheduling, Insurance and Preparation |
What to Expect
About Genetic Counseling
During a genetic counseling appointment, a board-certified genetic counselor
will spend time reviewing your personal and family history of cancer. She will
explain what that history means for your cancer risks and those of your relatives.
She may recommend using various models to further evaluate your risk. If genetic testing
is clinically indicated for you, she will discuss the details of that process so you can
make a decision about whether the testing makes sense for you. With or without genetic
testing, the genetic counselor will provide you with more personalized estimates of your
cancer risks. This may lead to additional screening and medical management options that
you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. These options may allow for early detection and/or
prevention of cancer.
Reasons Genetic Counseling and Testing Are Done
Anyone with concerns about their personal and family history of any type of cancer
should consider scheduling a genetic counseling visit, especially those with any of the
following in the family:
- Cancer diagnosed prior to age 50, especially breast, colorectal, or endometrial
- A combination of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Jewish with ancestors from Eastern Europe, usually Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia) and breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer at any age.
- 2 or more family members with the same type or related types of cancer*
- 2 or more of the same type or related type of cancers in a patient*
*Suspicious cancer clusters include: breast/ovarian, colorectal/endometrial/ ovarian, melanoma/pancreatic.
Risks Involved in Genetic Counseling
There are no risks associated with genetic counseling. Risks and benefits to genetic
testing will covered during the genetic counseling visit.
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Scheduling, Insurance and Preparation
Genetic counseling and testing is done at the following Invision Sally Jobe locations in the Denver, Colorado area:
Contact your personal physician for a referral for this exam. Then call 720-493-3700 to schedule.
This visit is billed like any other office visit with a specialist physician. Usually, patients are responsible for a copayment out-of-pocket but each situation is different depending on the individual insurance plan.
Conditions to Let Us Know About
You will complete a detailed cancer family history as part of the genetic counseling process. Be as thorough and honest as possible when completing your history and pay special attention to types of cancer in relatives (including parents, siblings, nieces/nephews, aunts/uncles, grandparents, and cousins), as well as ages of diagnosis. This information will better help the genetic counselor determine your risk and need for genetic testing.
If you decide to have genetic testing at the time of your appointment, a mouthwash sample will be collected. A blood sample is also an option but the mouthwash sample is preferred by most patients. This sample will be sent to an outside laboratory so they can analyze DNA from your cheek cells. Please plan not to eat or drink anything (including water or gum) for 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
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What to Expect
During the Appointment
When you arrive for your exam, the genetic counselor will begin by reviewing your
current cancer screening practices and relevant personal medical history. She will
then take a detailed family history, asking specifically about which of your relatives
have had cancer and at what age they were diagnosed. If you are a candidate for genetic
testing, the genetic counselor will explain the informed consent process for any genetic
testing that is relevant to you. If you decide to have genetic testing, she can collect
the sample that day to send to an external laboratory for analysis. With or without genetic
testing, the genetic counselor will use various tools to help you better understand your
personalized risk of breast and other cancers. She may recommend additional cancer
screening and risk reduction measures that you can discuss with your referring doctor(s).
After the Appointment
You can return to your normal activities immediately after your appointment.
Genetic Testing Results
After your work-up is complete (which may or may not include genetic testing), the genetic counselor will generate a full report. A copy of this report will be sent to your referring physician as well as to you directly. This report will include standard medical management recommendations based on your personalized risk for cancer. You can then discuss these recommendations with your referring doctor at your next office visit. If you had any genetic testing, you will receive a copy of those results for your records.
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