What is a Genetic Counselor?

What’s a Genetic Counselor?

Genetic CounselorWe have learned so much about breast cancer by a field of study that is growing in popularity, genetics. We are finding that a genetic counselor can be very helpful in finding out more about our genetics and our cancer risk.

Genetic mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase your risk of breast cancer. Although not every case of breast cancer is hereditary, the lifetime risk for breast cancer patients with these mutations are 40%-80%.

Invitae’s Raluca Kurz shares what her role as a genetic counselor is and why they are so important.


Raluca Kurz:  Genetic counselors are health care providers which in genetic risk assessment and psychology.  Their role is to assess the family history and help patients make decisions regarding which test is best for them.  There are generally speaking three types of genetic counselors, the prenatal genetic counselor, the pediatric genetic counselor, and the cancer and/or adult genetic counselor.  They each functioned differently depending on the area of practice.  However, in general, their role is again to help patients to make decisions about genetic testing, screening recommendations, and management.