So, you’ve collected your family history, now what?

Find a Genetic Counselor in Minnesota Find a Genetic Counselor in the U.S.

It’s time to find a genetic counselor who will talk with you and help evaluate your risk factors.

Talking with a genetic counselor is just that – TALKING about your genes. No lying on the couch.

A trained genetic counselor will be able to look at your family history and help determine what, if any, steps to take. A genetic counselor can also act like your own personal private investigator, helping to fill gaps in your family’s medical history.  He or she can help track down medical records and find out who in your family had cancer, what kind it was, and how old they were.

Genetic counselors will perform a cancer risk assessment. They can evaluate your family’s health history to see if your family may be at a higher-than-average risk of colon or other types of cancer.

This cancer risk assessment will help you determine how likely the cancer is hereditary, which cancer screening methods are best for you and your family, whether testing for a gene mutation is appropriate, and how to use any test results to reduce the risk of cancer going forward.

A counseling session includes:

  • An evaluation of you and your family’s cancer history,
  • a discussion about if genetic testing is appropriate,
  • the implications of genetic testing,
  • who is the best person to test,
  • cost and insurance coverage, and
  • how results may impact your life and the lives of your relatives.

Oh, and did you know? Genetic counseling and any appropriate testing are usually covered by insurance. Talk with your insurance provider to find out about your specific policy and coverage for a visit with a genetic counselor.  Coverage for testing won’t be known, until decisions are made about what testing to do.

Learn more about what to expect when you meet a genetic counselor.

To find a cancer genetic counselor:

  In Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Genetic Counselors Association or download the directory.
 In the rest of the country, contact the National Society of Genetic Counselors or the National Cancer Institute.


Overview Video #1: Collect Your Family History  Video #3: Get The Right test Video #4: Next Steps Video #5: Change Your Story

mngcaThis information is presented through a partnership of the Colon Cancer Coalition and the Minnesota Genetic Counselors Association (MNGCA). 

Information on these pages is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician before making any medical decisions