Q: What is a genetics test and how is it performed?
The process is simple and is done by collecting a small blood or saliva
sample which is then sent to the laboratory. Typically within a week,
you will get your test results from your genetic counselor.
Q: How much does genetic testing cost and will my insurance cover it?
Before any medical procedure, consult with your insurance company to confirm
coverage. For a majority of plans, genetic counseling is covered, however,
each company has different policies. Similar to other healthcare services,
you may have have an out-of-pocket fee.
Q: Is my insurance company allowed to discriminate against me based on
my genetic tests results?
No, You and your genetic information are protected in The Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). This act protects your information
from being used to decide both employment and medical insurance decisions.
You are protected in the event that you decide to perform a genetics test,
receive medical care, or participate in a clinical trial. GINA does NOT
protect against in the discrimination of purchasing life, disability or
long-term care insurance.
Q: Is genetic testing required?
Genetic counseling is optional. You should consider genetic testing if
your family has a histpry of cancer or if you physician suggests it. The
genetic counselor will explain the processes and help guide you through
the steps required to complete the genetic testing.
Q: Can I get a genetic test without having to see a genetic counselor?
Yes, your physician can order a genetic test for you and also provide your
results. Keep in mind that your physician may not be trained in genetic
counseling and you may leave with additional questions. Our Genetic Counselor
has advanced training in genetics and counseling to best read your results
and guide you on the next steps.
Q: Can genetic counseling help me if I do not know my family's history?
Genetic counseling can still be effective even if you do not have information
on your family's history. A genetic counselor can help you decide
whether a genetic test would be beneficial.
Q: Can genetic testing help me if I have already been diagnosed with cancer?
A genetic test will help determine if the cancer was inherited through
a gene mutation which can help physicians treat you more efficiently.
It has been found that some types of inherited cancer won't respond
to certain treatments while some respond very well. A genetic test can
also help determine if other family members may be at risk.
Q: Can genetic counseling help me if I am pregnant?
Genetic counseling can be helpful if you are pregnant to test for certain
conditions such as Down syndrome or spina bifida, even without a family
history. Genetic counseling may be helpful if you are pregnant, had abnormal
test results, or are worried about certain prenatal medications.