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Glossary: genetic counseling, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

genetic counseling

(jeh-NEH-tik KOWN-suh-ling)

A communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

A communication process that seeks to assist affected or at-risk individuals and families in understanding the natural history, disease risks, and mode of transmission of a genetic disorder; to facilitate informed consent for genetic testing when appropriate; to discuss options for risk management and family planning; and to provide for or refer individuals for psychosocial support as needed. The National Society of Genetic Counselors Task Force has also defined the term genetic counseling.

GeneticsHealth professional


Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment and Counseling