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Meridian Genetic Testing

Learn About Your Cancer Risk Factors

Anderson Regional Cancer Center works closely with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Human Genetics to assist patients with genetic counseling.

What is Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling begins with a conversation with your genetic counselor about how yourDNA strand genetic information affects your health. The genetic counselor explains information in ways that make sense to you and your family, and he or she will help you make informed decisions about genetic testing and life plans. Working closely with your doctors at Anderson Regional Cancer Center, your genetic counselor is a member of your personal health care team. Genetic Counselors have extensive education including a Master of Science in Human Genetics and national certification.

Click here to learn more about Genetic Counseling.

Red Flags of Hereditary Cancer

Seeing a genetic counselor may be helpful if you have a family history of cancer. Suggestive factors include:

  • Cancer at early ages (in most cases before age 50)
  • Multiple cancer occurrences in one person; bilateral cancers (cancer in both of paired organs)
  • Multiple cases of the same cancer type or related cancers on the same side of the family Ex: breast, ovarian, pancreatic, melanoma Ex: colorectal, uterine, ovarian
  • Rare cancers Ex: male breast cancer

Seeing a genetic counselor may be helpful if you have a known genetic condition or a family history of a genetic condition and/or are considering undergoing genetic testing.

How do I get started with Genetic Counseling?

Your doctor at Anderson Regional Cancer Center can refer you for genetic counseling, and you will be connected with a genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Genetics.

What will happen after I am referred?

  • A representative from Anderson Regional Cancer Center will contact you and send you medical/family history paperwork to be completed.
  • Upon returning the paperwork, the Anderson representative will contact you to schedule a pre-test telegenetics session. Your appointment will not be scheduled prior to receiving your paperwork.
  • You will have a pre-test telegenetics consult at Anderson Regional Cancer Center via webcam. Ask questions and take notes if you’d like. Your insurance will be billed for a provider office visit, not genetic counseling.
  • The UAB genetic counselor will review the medical/family history with you, provide education on suspected conditions, discuss testing options, explain what a genetic test may reveal about your cancer risks, obtain your consent for testing and explain the general process to you.
  • Our genetic counselor will also provide you with a risk assessment and education on the suspected condition. After discussing testing options, he or she will facilitate decision-making.
  • If you elect to undergo genetic testing, blood will be drawn at Anderson on the day of your session and your insurance will then be billed for genetic testing.
  • Your UAB genetic counselor and Anderson Regional Cancer Center will both receive genetic testing results. However, your genetic counselor will contact you to review the results.
  • Your UAB genetic counselor will send you and Anderson Regional Cancer Center a clinic note summarizing the telegenetic session. The counselor will also send a results letter that summarizes test results and medical management recommendations for you and your family.
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