Sometimes, it’s easy to think these two are the same thing because they’re so often linked. Here we break down what a genetic counsellor does and how a counsellor’s role is affected by genetic testing.
Genetic counselling provides information & support.
When meeting with a genetic counsellor, you discuss genetic health concerns, family history and options available for you to consider- this may (or may not) include genetic testing.
Once you meet with your genetic counsellor, you’ll begin discussing possible next steps and any options for genetic testing. Your genetic counsellor will provide a summary that includes what was discussed in the sessions (things like personal & family history and explanations of genetics and disorders.)
Genetic counselling could lead to genetic testing.
If a genetic test is available that may provide you with the information you want and you decide to pursue testing, your genetic counsellor will ensure the correct test is ordered based on your personal and family history.
If you do not want to pursue testing, your genetic counsellor will help you understand other options that may be available to support your genetic health.
Genetic counsellors help you understand test results
Genetic test results can be complicated, but a genetic counsellor can help you understand them. Your genetic counsellor will explain what your test results mean for you and your family and provide you with options for using that information. Your genetic counsellor will also ensure that your GP receives and understands your test results.
Genetic counsellors provide ongoing support
Your test results could affect your health or your treatment plan depending on many things. Once you have test results, a genetic counsellor can work with your GP to explain the options you may have, from treatment to support groups.
Article originally found: http://www.aboutgeneticcounselors.com/Genetic-Testing/Genetic-Counseling-vs-Genetic-Testing