February 1st 1996
The authors have compiled an excellent summary of the basic components of cancer risk counseling and the role of the genetic counselor in this process. They note that such counseling may have a different scope, depending on the individual's level of risk. They also point out that the approach to each case tends to be unique, due to individual psychological concerns, interpretation of family history and available risk data, and options for genetic testing and prevention or early detection. I would like to expand on the topics discussed in four major areas: counseling cancer survivors, the role of oncologists and primary-care physicians in cancer risk counseling, informed consent issues, and directions of current and future research.