Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks describes genetic cancer risk assessment.
Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks:
It’s a phrase that has been coined to describe the whole process. We don’t want to call it just genetic testing because we really don’t want the testing to happen in a vacuum. The genetic cancer risk assessment is an overarching term for the whole process.
So going through that personal and family history, assessing what testing is appropriate, then providing education to the patients saying, “Okay, this is what we see in your family. That makes us think about these genes.” These are the implications of it and if there’s something in these genes the cancer risks, what it means for you and your family, the screening recommendations we are going to make if we find something in these genes, how the test works, insurance coverage, all of those things.
And then blood draw, send it to a specialty laboratory, proofread the genes. It takes about a month to two months to get the answer back, and then it’s coming back to the table to go over the results and say, “Okay, this is what it is. Here is how we take care of you. Here is how we take care of your family members.” So genetic cancer risk assessment encompasses that whole process.
About Kimberly Banks, M.S., C.G.C.:
Kimberly Banks, M.S., C.G.C., is the Program Coordinator and a Genetic Counselor at The Cancer Genetics Program in The Center For Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. Kimberly received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from California State University, Northridge, and conducted her fellowship at City of Hope National Medical Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Visit Kimberly Banks at St. Joseph Hospital Cancer Genetics Program: