Frequently Asked Questions
WHY AM I BEING REFERRED TO GENESCREEN?
GeneScreen provides unbiased genetic counseling services to help individuals understand genetic risks based on their personal and family history and genetic testing results.
WHAT IS A GENETIC COUNSELOR?
As defined by the National Society of Genetic Counselors: Genetic counselors are health care professionals with specialized graduate training in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Genetic counselors usually work as members of a healthcare team, providing information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. Genetic counselors can also work with your physicians or other healthcare providers to make sure your genetic information is effectively considered in your overall health care.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MEETING WITH A GENETIC COUNSELOR?
Genetic counselors can help you to make informed, personalized decisions about your genetic health. As genetics professionals, they can help identify your potential genetic health risks, give you information about genetic conditions and inheritance patterns, discuss genetic testing options, help you understand your genetic results, and provide support throughout the process.
WHAT ARE COMMON REASONS TO BE REFERRED FOR GENETIC COUNSELING?
- A family history of a certain genetic condition
- Personal or family history with concern for hereditary cancer syndrome
- Preconception counseling (counseling regarding risks regarding future pregnancies)
- Prenatal counseling (counseling regarding your pregnancy and potential risks to the child)
- Review of genetic testing results-abnormal or normal
- Counseling before and after receiving testing related to hereditary cancer
WHAT DOES A GENETIC COUNSELING APPOINTMENT ENTAIL?
During your genetic counseling appointment, the genetic counselor will cover a variety of genetic concepts such as chromosomes, mutations and genetic conditions so that you have a basic understanding of the information that will be discussed during the appointment. The genetic counselor collects and draws out your family and personal medical histories in order to understand what risks may be present and what testing may be most appropriate to order.
If you have had genetic testing ordered, the genetic counselor will take time to review the particular testing and possible results of the test. If at your consult the testing results are available for review, the genetic counselor will address these results so that you have an understanding of the meaning and impact for yourself and your family. If you have not had genetic testing ordered, the genetic counselor will be able to recommend the most appropriate testing based on your personal and family medical histories.
Based on family and personal histories, along with genetic testing results and other factors, the genetic counselor can provide you with the most accurate risk assessment. The genetic counselor will be able to also appropriately refer you to specific specialties when needed (such as high risk breast centers or fertility clinics). During our genetic counseling appointment, we also discuss testing and counseling for other family members that may be at risk. By the end of your genetic counseling appointment we hope that you have gained a better understanding about genetics and how your genetics and testing results can have a large impact in your management.
HOW CAN I BEST PREPARE FOR MY GENETIC COUNSELING APPOINTMENT?
We ask that you review your family history (including aunts/uncles, cousins and grandparents) for any sort of genetic conditions, cancers, birth defects and/or chronic illnesses. We have a link to our family history questionnaire which will guide you in collecting a detailed family history. We also ask that you send us any previous genetic testing results and family member genetic testing results (where applicable) so that we may review these before your appointment.
WHAT TYPES OF APPOINTMENTS DOES GENESCREEN OFFER?
GeneScreen offers tele-conferences with video capabilities. These meetings can be accessed through an application on your phone or through a computer.
HOW LONG IS A TYPICAL APPOINTMENT?
Depending on the type and amount of information being reviewed we usually estimate that a genetic counseling appointment may take 35-45 minutes.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
You can call our direct line 908-766-2800 or fill out our online patient registration portal and a patient services representative will reach out to you within 48 hours of completion. It is preferred that you schedule your consult when you are available in a private place with no distractions (for example not in your car). We prefer this since we will be reviewing sensitive health related information and may be asking questions or reviewing results that you may not feel comfortable discussing in public places.