The genetic counselor plays an important role in the lives of those with Lynch syndrome. Having considerable education and knowledge of genetic conditions, they can provide us with an explanation of how and why we are at risk for Lynch syndrome as well as provide information on risk to our families.
Genetics is complicated and with a syndrome that possesses over 1100 variants, as Lynch syndrome, it is important to provide your physician with all the information you can find on your family history. The physician will assess it and most likely refer you to a genetic counselor.
Genetic counselors are few and far between and there are far too many of them for the numbers of individuals who are now being screened for genetic conditions. Advocacy needs to stand up and encourage public awareness of the occupation and recruitment into schools that offer a Masters program in genetic counseling. As well, advocacy needs to lobby for financial assistance to obtain more genetic counselors so individuals can take advantage of the opportunities and benefits they offer.
Finding a genetic counselor in small states or rural areas may be difficult. In that situation, hopefully, the physician will take advantage of the services which are offered by the many excellent genetic counselors offered as a service by commercial testing laboratories or refer the patient to the services of telephonic genetic counseling.
If you have difficulty finding a genetic counselor who can provide services within a reasonable amount of time, please call us at 707-689-5089 and we will be more than happy to assist with attempting to find effective, timely, genetic testing services.