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Genetic counseling

Genetic counseling is done by specially trained health professionals who offer guidance to people concerned about their risk of genetic diseases.

A genetic counselor may:

  • Look at family and personal medical history and medical records. This is done to see if genetic testing would be helpful. If so, the counselor can talk about which tests would be best and what age to have tests.
  • Show a person how a specific condition is inherited or passed from parents to a child.
  • Explain the pros and cons of genetic testing and what the results might mean for the person being tested and their relatives.
  • Help a person understand the results of a genetic test, including their risk for a genetic condition.
  • Discuss how to reduce the risk for a genetic condition, how to manage the condition, and what resources are available.