Genetic counseling and testing can provide valuable information and guidance to those worried about hereditary conditions or genetic disorders. The Providence Genetics Clinic provides genetic counseling and testing for people who are concerned about a genetic history of cancer, developmental disabilities, heart conditions, neurological disorders and other genetic conditions.
During your consultation, you’ll be asked about your family health history. It’s very helpful if you can gather this information in advance. You may be asked to fill out paperwork or provide medical records, including previous genetic test results. Discussions about genetics can affect multiple family members, and you are welcome to bring relatives interested in the discussion.
If testing is recommended, we collect a sample of your blood or saliva and send the sample to a laboratory. The test looks for differences in your genetic material compared to the general population.
When the results come back to the clinic, we’ll discuss them with you over the phone or in person. We’ll help you understand next steps based on your results.
Before deciding to proceed with genetic testing, it is important to consider the following:
- Genetic test results often impact multiple other members of the family. We can help you decide how best to talk to your family members about the results.
- Genetic testing may or may not lead to changes in your medical management but can provide valuable information about your health.
- Learning that you or your family has a genetic condition can be surprising and difficult to hear. Our genetic counselors and doctors are here to support you.
- You may decide that you don’t want genetic testing. You always have the option to decline any genetic tests that are offered.
Genetic testing is often covered by insurance, but not always. You may want to contact your insurance company in advance to find out. Our clinic will try to help get your testing covered. Genetic testing is becoming much more affordable, and many genetic testing labs offer payment plans or discounted testing.
Genetic testing may be helpful if you have a family history of:
- Early onset cancers (typically considered before age 50)
- Rare cancer types, such as ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, or male breast cancer
- Several family members with the same type of cancer on the same side of the family
- Birth defects, such as a cleft palate or heart defect
- Delayed developmental milestones
- Health problems affecting multiple parts of the body
- Known genetic condition in the family
If you think you or your family members may have a genetic condition, talk to your doctor about whether a referral to Providence Genetics Clinic would be right for you. We also offer prenatal and preconception genetic counseling through the High-Risk Pregnancy Clinic.
Our network of care offers you access to a wide variety of specialists, including:
- Brain and spine surgeons
- Chronic disease specialists
- Diabetes experts
- Infectious disease doctors
- Physical therapists