Prevention & Early Detection

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Genetic Counseling & Testing

The Genetic Counseling Service at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) specializes in talking with patients about testing to detect genes that increase cancer risk. We are here to help you understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of disease related to your genetic background.

Counseling Before Testing

Before you have genetic testing, you will have a genetic counseling visit. During this visit, you will talk with a licensed, board-certified genetic counselor, one specifically trained in genetics, counseling, and risk assessment, about the pros and cons of what it means to know the results of genetic testing. The genetic counselor will obtain your family medical history and will help you prepare to understand the implications of your test results.

What Happens After Testing

If you decide to proceed with genetic testing, your results will be used for your genetic counseling assessment, where SCCA specialists will recommend future cancer screenings, health management plans, and cancer prevention options for you. For example, if a woman tests positive for a disease-causing mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, we may recommend that she get frequent cancer screenings to detect cancer early, or we may present her with options, like prophylactic surgery, to reduce her risk of cancer.

A genetic counselor will help you understand what you may be facing once you receive your test results and your team’s recommendations.


How Do I Get Genetic Testing?

If you are interested in genetic testing to learn more about your cancer risk, your first step is to see a genetic counselor at the Genetic Counseling Service at SCCA.

Where Will I Be Seen?

Genetic counseling for patients of SCCA takes place at the main SCCA clinic and at the Genetic Medicine Clinic at University of Washington Medical Center

Genetic Counselors

SCCA Genetic Counseling Service providers are all licensed, board-certified genetic counselors.

Web Resources

These links can help you find more information about genetic counseling and testing.