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If you have a family history of cancer, genetic diseases, or medical disorders and are concerned about your risk of developing these medical conditions or passing them to your children, turn to Essentia Health.
Our genetic counselor will work with you and your family to provide education, guidance, and support. This service is available in Duluth, Minnesota.
Genetic counselors work with patients and their families to discuss risk factors and test for genetic diseases and disorders that may be passed down through a person’s bloodline.
Ask your doctor for a referral to an Essentia genetic counselor if:
You’re pregnant and an ultrasound showed something unusual or you have a high-risk pregnancy
In advance of your cancer genetic counseling session, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your relatives’ medical history. Your genetic counselor will use this information to determine whether you or another relative may benefit from genetic testing.
During prenatal genetic counseling, you’ll learn what genetic tests might benefit a woman of your age, medical history, and family history. Ask about a simple first-trimester genetic screening [PDF] that measures the risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
Your genetic counselor may also talk with you about drugs, chemicals, or infections that affect a fetus’ development. You can use this information to protect your unborn baby’s health.
Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine your risk of developing or passing on a genetic disorder
If you choose to seek genetic testing, we’ll help you determine the test that's right for you and send a sample of your blood or other body fluids to a lab. Once your results are in, we'll review them with you, address any concerns you may have, and provide emotional support if necessary.
Our genetic counselors offer easy-to-understand information and will work with you to create a preventative plan that outlines the positive steps you can take to address risk factors you can control.
Genetic testing can be done to:
Common hereditary diseases, disorders, or conditions that can be screened for using genetic testing include:
You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.