Genetic Counseling

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Genetic Counseling at Epic Care

Your genes may predict your risk of cancer. Genetic tests are available to help doctors identify the risk of certain types of cancer for both you and your family. Epic Care provides in-depth education and cancer risk assessments for individuals with a significant personal and/or family history of cancer.

Genetic Counseling FAQs

Genetic counseling is a process of providing personalized information and support about genetics and inherited conditions to you and your family. The goal of genetic counseling is to provide clear and clinically relevant information about genetic risk factors in a way that both supports and educates.

Genetic testing is done using a sample of blood, saliva, or skin cells. It aims to identify inherited gene mutations that are known to increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Although genetic testing cannot predict whether you will actually develop cancer, understanding your risk of developing the disease can help you and your doctor make informed decisions about prevention strategies.

There are multiple hereditary cancer conditions that are caused by mutations, also called variants, in specific genes. Genetic counseling and testing can help you understand your cancer risk in order to make informed decisions about cancer screening, surgery, lifestyle changes, and other preventative measures that could reduce your cancer risk.

Some of the more common inherited cancers include breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, colorectal, and endometrial cancers.

Genetic testing is not recommended for everyone. During your cancer risk assessment, we will help you decide if genetic testing is right for you. Genetic testing usually begins with a family member who has had cancer. Individuals should thoroughly consider whether or not to have genetic testing. During the genetic counseling visit, we will discuss any concerns you may have about genetic testing as well as possible results, benefits, risks and limitations of the testing. We will also discuss cost, insurance coverage and issues of genetic discrimination.

Many patients are referred for genetic counseling by their primary care physician or another specialist. As a first step, you may want to discuss your personal and family health history with your current physician to understand if you could benefit from genetic testing. However, you can also contact our practice directly to schedule an appointment.

We Don’t Just Treat Cancer. We Assess & Manage Cancer Risk

If you meet any of the following criteria, consider scheduling an appointment with us:

  • Family member with multiple primary cancers Several relatives on one side of the family who have had the same type of cancer
  • Cancers in the family linked to a single gene mutation (such as breast, ovarian, colon, or pancreatic cancers)
  • Family or personal history of early onset cancer (usually before age 50)
  • Relatives with a rare cancer, such as breast cancer in a male, ovarian cancer, or retinoblastoma
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast or ovarian cancer at any age
  • 10 or more colon polyps removed over your lifetime
  • Family members with a known genetic mutation
  • Anyone who may qualify for updated genetic testing

A genetic counseling and testing program visit can provide you with a personalized evaluation through review of your personal and family history of cancer. Depending on your history, you may be offered genetic testing.

Counseling Session

Once you decide to explore genetic testing with Epic Care, you will be scheduled to come in and meet with one of our providers. We will review your personal and family history of cancer, complete a physical exam, and make a recommendation regarding genetic testing.

Genetic Testing

After your counseling session, you will discuss your options with your provider and decide if you would like to have a genetic test. This is a very personal decision, and you should carefully consider the risks and benefits.

Our team is here to help you make this decision by:

Discussing the medical, social, and ethical impact of genetic testing for you and your family. Explaining the scientific process of genetic testing in an easy-to-understand manner. Addressing all questions and concerns that you may have If you decide to have testing done, we will obtain the testing sample from you that day.

Results Consultation

Once we receive your results, we will schedule an appointment for you to come back for a consultation. We will interpret and explain your test results. If your results indicate an increased cancer risk, you will likely have a lot of questions and concerns. We will thoroughly discuss all recommendations and options for follow-up screenings, treatment, and preventative measures, and make sure you leave the appointment with a clear plan of action.

Health Insurance & Genetic Testing

Genetic testing may be covered by your health insurance. If you do not have insurance or your insurance company will not cover the test, genetic testing vendors may offer discounted rates for self-pay, or you may financially qualify for additional discounts or free testing. There are federal and state laws in place to protect patients from discrimination. These laws prevent health insurance companies from charging more or denying coverage to someone because of genetic mutations.

Contact Epic Care for Genetic Counseling in the East Bay

We offer genetic counseling at our Pleasant Hill location To schedule a genetic counseling appointment,
please call us at (925) 255-1066 or contact us today.

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