Katherine A. Schneider, MPH | Authors

Role of the Genetic Counselor in Familial Cancer

February 01, 1996

The authors offer a comprehensive overview of familial cancer risk counseling, providing both a general definition of this new genetic counseling specialty and specific components of the counseling process. Genetic counseling is, by and large, a referral service, and this is also true of cancer risk counseling. This places great importance on the health-care provider's ability to recognize families who may be at increased risk for an inherited form of cancer and should be referred for cancer risk counseling. It seems reasonable, therefore, to consider the issues relevant to making such a referral, including information on collecting an initial cancer history, strategies for handling a positive history, and the realities of DNA-based testing.