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Process of Genetic Counselling and Testing

How is genetic testing done?

Genetic testing typically is a one-time blood test. If a blood sample cannot be taken, other sample sources (e.g. skin or saliva) may be explored.

What is the process of genetic counselling and testing?

  1. Pre-test genetic counselling
    Before genetic testing is conducted, a consultation (~30 mins- 1 hour) will be arranged with a genetic counsellor and/or medical oncologist to discuss the following:
    - Personal and family history of cancer and/or disease
    - Assessment of how likely a hereditary cause is the reason for the cancer(s) in the family and whether genetic testing is recommended
    - Benefits and limitations of genetic testing personalized for you and your family
    - Implications of the genetic test result on insurance, legal and privacy issues

  2. Obtaining consent for genetic testing
    Genetic testing is a personal choice, and no one is forced to go ahead with it. You need to consent to genetic testing before it is conducted

  3. Collection of samples
    A blood (sometimes skin or saliva) sample will be taken for genetic testing. Most genetic test results are ready in 2 – 6 weeks. As such, the clinic will schedule an appointment to discuss your test result with you after that period.

  4. Result appointment
    Your result appointment will involve a discussion of the following aspects of your genetic test result:
    - What this result means for you and your family
    - Whether anyone else in the family should also consider genetic testing
    - Personalised recommendations on how to manage and reduce your cancer risks based on your result and your family history of cancer (if any)
    - Referrals to other specialities (if needed) to facilitate the cancer risk management plan recommended to you

What are the possible results from genetic testing?

There are 3 types of results that you may receive from genetic testing:

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