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A diagnosis of hereditary cancer can be confusing and frightening. You and your family will be able to better manage your diagnosis by learning more about the syndrome, its treatment and the many options you have for support.
Review some of the questions patients and families commonly ask about hereditary cancers.
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates:
Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health and social work.
Genetic counselors work as members of a health care 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. They identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.
Genetic counselors also:
Some counselors also work in administrative capacities. Many engage in research activities related to the field of medical genetics and genetic counseling.
Use these resources to learn more about hereditary cancers and find support from families dealing with the same syndromes.
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