Genetic Counseling at Med Center Health

A family history of cancer can increase the odds you could develop cancer. At The Medical Center at Bowling Green, we’ve partnered with the UK Markey Cancer Center to help you find out if your genetics could put you at risk.

Genetic counseling can determine if you have a change in your genes (your DNA) that accounts for between 5 and 10 percent of all cancers. People who do have these certain genetic changes are at a higher risk of developing cancer before the age of 50. Genetic counseling is often the first step toward getting a genetic test. Whether or not to receive genetic testing is a personal choice and is not required for genetic counseling; however, you must receive genetic counseling before getting a genetic test.

Who can benefit from genetic counseling?

You may benefit from genetic counseling if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

  • Have you or a close relative been diagnosed with cancer at age 50 or younger?
  • Has more than one member of your family been diagnosed with the same type of cancer?
  • Have you or a family member been diagnosed with more than one type of cancer?
  • Are you related to someone who is known to have a genetic condition or mutation that increases the risk of cancer?

Our genetic counselors understand that the decision for genetic testing is complex. Your personal beliefs, how your family has handled cancer in the past, your current health status as well as your mental and emotional well-being are important factors. We know that every person is unique, and so is their experience with cancer. We will help with compassion and support, creating a genetic counseling session that is right for you.

Genetic counseling and testing are covered by the majority of insurance plans. Our counselors will provide more information and help you determine what your out-of-pocket costs may be.

Some people may be concerned that their genetic information may cause them to be discriminated against by their employer or insurance company. Federal legislation protects people from genetic discrimination. Your genetic counselor can explain how this legislation protects you.

Young female patient speaks with counselor.