How should I prepare for the appointment?
Most people find it useful to meet with a certified genetic counselor when they suspect they may have an inherited condition. One of the first things you should do to prepare for an appointment is to gather information about your family medical history.
Medical conditions in the family can be a result of variation in genes. A family history can help to identify features in your family that suggest a higher or lower risk for an inherited condition. You should ask about the following:
- Age of living family members
- Age of family members when they died
- Major disease(s) or diagnoses in the family and the age at diagnosis
- Previous genetic tests
Discussing personal and family health history with a certified genetic counselor is the best next step toward understanding your genes. A certified genetic counselor is like an expert gene navigator. She or he can help you understand the likelihood of developing an inherited condition. If genetic testing is available and appropriate, she or he can help you make an informed decision.