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Hereditary Cancer & Genetic Counseling
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Genetic Counseling vs Genetic Testing

Is genetic counseling the same as genetic testing?

Genetic counseling is the first step towards genetic lab testing. Information gathered during genetic counseling helps determine if genetic lab testing would be helpful in your situation.

If you and the genetic counselor determine you want to move forward with genetic testing, the counselor will arrange for the necessary lab testing.

A genetic counseling session includes:

  • Recording a detailed family history
  • Using family history information to:
  • Estimate your risk to develop cancer
  • Estimate the risk of an inherited cancer in your family
  • Discussing ways to screen for and prevent cancer based on your risks
  • Reviewing the pros and cons of genetic lab testing
  • Deciding if genetic testing is right for you, given your particular risks and concerns

Genetic Testing involves:

  • Blood draw
  • Some laboratories will accept cells from inside of your cheek.
  • Samples are sent to a special lab, and results take 2–4 weeks.


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