What is included in genetic counseling for breast cancer risk?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Genetic counseling about BRCA mutation testing may be done by trained health professionals, including trained primary care providers. Several professional organizations describe the skills and training necessary to provide comprehensive genetic counseling. The process of genetic counseling includes the following:

  • Detailed kindred analysis and risk assessment for potentially harmful BRCA mutations
  • Education about the possible results of testing and their implications
  • Identification of affected family members who may be preferred candidates for testing
  • Outlining options for screening, risk-reducing medications, or surgery for eligible patients
  • Follow-up counseling for interpretation of test results

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