What is Genetic Counseling and why is it important?
Genetic counseling is an informative discussion that involves educating patients and their families about the occurrence or recurrence of a genetic disorder in the family. Genetic counselors are experts in medical genetics and counseling. They have in-depth knowledge on various appropriate tests available and are experienced in providing unbiased, ethical, and accurate information in a simple and precise manner. They act like an extended arm for clinicians and doctors.
The genetic counselor explains the following to consumers:
- Genetic basis of their clinical disorder, the inheritance pattern, and the recurrence risk
- Availability of various tests
- Appropriate course of action in view of their risk, family goals, ethical, and religious standards
- Social and psychological support
When should you recommend Genetic Counseling to your patients?
Here are the situations when medical experts/doctors/clinicians may recommend their patients/families to visit a genetic counselor:
- Family history of a genetic condition or birth defect
- A couple in a consanguineous marriage
- Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy at the age of 35 years or above
- General concern of to-be parents about the genetic health of their baby
- Bad obstetric history or multiple miscarriages
- Death of a child due to a genetic condition
- Antenatal ultrasound or pregnancy screening tests indicating a possible risk
- Family history of cancer, or a young age of onset of cancer
MedGenome Genetic Counseling
An information, education, and service hub for both patients and doctors.
- Carrier Screening Test (premarital or pre conceptional)
- IVF – Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT-A; PGT-SR; PGT-M)
- Non-invasive Prenatal Screening Test (NIPT)
- Prenatal Genetic Counseling
- Risk Assessment
- Extended Family Member Testing
- Companion Diagnostics
- Multidrug resistant TB (MDR TB)
- KardioGen – Genetic Risk for Heart Condition
- CureGen – Drug Effectiveness
What does the process of Genetic Counseling involve?
The expert Genetic Counseling team of MedGenome provides extensive pre-test and post-test counseling as explained below:
- Evaluates the family history and all relevant medical records
- Helps the family understand the genetic condition
- Explores the options available for Genetic Testing, its reliability, and limitations
- Discusses the risks and benefits of Genetic Testing
- Considers the inheritance pattern and risk of recurrence
- Declares the possible uncertainties due to present lack of knowledge
- Discusses reproductive options
- Interprets the test results
- Discusses the need for further testing
- Explains inheritance pattern and risk of recurrence depending on the results and final diagnosis
- Discusses the available management and prevention options
- Addresses emotional and social concerns
- Discusses the implications of the report to the individual and the family
- Refers to other resources or support groups for help
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