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Genetic Counseling

Glossary

genetic counseling

A communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

A communication process that seeks to assist affected or at-risk individuals and families in understanding the natural history, disease risks, and mode of transmission of a genetic disorder; to facilitate informed consent for genetic testing when appropriate; to discuss options for risk management and family planning; and to provide for or refer individuals for psychosocial support as needed.

Last updated: 2014-02-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)