What do I need to do to prepare for my genetic counseling appointment?
Before your visit, you will receive a family history questionnaire and a personal history questionnaire to complete. For the family history questionnaire, please note all relatives in the categories requested, whether or not they have had cancer. It is important to include the family history from both your father’s side and your mother’s side. Many people are unsure of their family’s medical history. We encourage you to contact other relatives to help you complete the family history questionnaire as much as possible. Even if you are not sure of the specifics (e.g. type of cancer), put down as much information as you do know.
Please bring the following items with you to your consultation:
- Personal history questionnaire and family history questionnaire
- Insurance card and ID
- If you or a member of your family have had genetic testing already, it is imperative that you bring a copy of the genetic testing results
- Yourself as you are (there is no fasting requirement for the genetic test)
What can I expect at the visit?
Your completed personal history questionnaire and family history questionnaire will be reviewed by the genetic counselor and the physician at the beginning of your visit. You will meet with the genetic counselor who will review your family history with you, discuss the benefits and limitations of genetic testing, and determine the type of testing that may help to clarify your risk. You also will meet with the physician to further discuss the plan for testing and your options for prevention and early detection. If genetic testing is pursued, then further discussion about your health care management plan will take place after we receive the results of the testing. Just because you attend the genetic counseling consultation does NOT mean you have to pursue testing.
The first visit will take about 1 to 1 ½ hours. If genetic testing is done, then you will be called with the results, and another follow-up visit may be scheduled. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time for registration purposes.
Will insurance cover the visit and testing?
Most insurance plans will cover the genetic counseling visit and follow-up visits. You can call your insurance company to verify if the consultation is covered.
If a genetic test is ordered, the laboratory performing the testing will verify your insurance coverage for the test and will let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket expenses above a certain amount before they initiate testing.
How long will it take to get test results?
The length of time to receive the test results is governed by the type of test ordered and also the requirements of your insurance plan. The amount of time can vary from 7-10 days to up to several months, depending on the complexity of the test. When testing one specific gene, such as BRCA 1 and 2, the results are usually available in one to two weeks.
I was recently diagnosed and need results in a hurry – what can be done to get the results quickly?
If you have been recently diagnosed and are making surgical decisions based on this test, please let us know at the time you schedule the appointment. We reserve several appointment time slots each week for those who need urgent appointments. We will see you for the counseling visit as soon as possible. The genetic test will take about one to two weeks, so you should schedule your surgery accordingly.
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