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What is genetic counseling? 

Genetic counseling is a communication process that includes documenting detailed personal and family history, calculating risk assessment and discussing genetic testing options while offering emotional support and empathy. Individuals seeking cancer genetic counseling are often at an increased risk of developing cancer. Therefore, much of the focus of cancer genetic counseling concerns the individual's personal risk as well the risk of his or her relatives.

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Srvice provides you with choices, options, and counseling regarding your cancer risk. The goal is to help you understand your cancer risk and become more involved in ways to reduce your risk by modifying your lifestyle and developing a personalized screening and treatment plan. 

Will my insurance pay for genetic counseling?

We participate with most health insurance companies. Therefore, our services are often covered like any other specialist. However, you should check your policy or with your insurance company to see if you require a referral from your primary care physician.

What is genetic testing for cancer?

Genetic testing involves looking at a person's genetic information (DNA) for changes associated with an increased risk of developing certain cancers. This testing may reveal whether the cancer risk in a family is passed through their genes (inherited). The procedure only requires a small blood sample and when possible, should begin with a family member who has had cancer. If you are eligible for testing, the choice is yours. A discussion about the cost, insurance coverage, and the risks and benefits of testing will take place to help you make the choice that is right for you.

Will my insurance cover genetic testing?

Most insurance companies cover part, if not all, of the testing fee. However, coverage depends on your insurance. During your first visit, we will determine if testing is indicated, which test would be most appropriate, and who in your family should be tested first. If you decide to pursue testing, we will help determine if your insurance company will pay for the analysis.

What information should I bring to my visit?

Your family history can be obtained from talking to your relatives. The most important information is:
  • Who has/had cancer? 
  • How are they related to you? 
  • What type of cancer do/did they have? 
  • At what age was the diagnosis of cancer made? 
  • Where were they diagnosed? 
  • Has anyone had genetic testing? 
Records such as pathology reports and family trees are very helpful. They allow us to give you the most accurate picture of your personal risks.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

You may refer yourself. However, your insurance may require a referral. You should check with your insurance company and policy on this issue prior to your appointment. 

How do I schedule an appointment?

You may contact us at (313) 576-8748 to schedule your appointment. 

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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.