Your Questions Answered
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A GENETIC COUNSELLING CONSULTATION?
During a genetic counselling consult, your genetic counsellor will do the following:
Construct a family tree from your personal and family history including relevant medical information
Discuss a known genetic condition in your family with regards to cause, inheritance and risks for your family and future pregnancies
Discuss treatment, management and preventive options, if appropriate
Offer genetic testing, where available and appropriate
Explain the testing process, including timing, benefits and limitations of testing and manage your expectations of the possible test results
Address your concerns, queries and any ethical issues
Facilitate the testing process together with your referring doctor
Communicate any genetic testing results and provide appropriate support and care
WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?
Our rates have increased from 1 January 2020. Your initial genetic counselling appointment will cost R1 400 and a follow-up appointment (e.g. after genetic testing) will be charged at R700. You receive a R100 discount if paying via EFT before your appointment (R1 300/R600).
If you chose not to pay before your appointment, you may pay by credit/debit card or cash on the day of your appointment.
WHAT MUST I BRING TO THE APPOINTMENT?
Please bring the referral letter from your doctor, your medical aid information and any relevant information about your family members (e.g. age of onset of your mother's breast cancer).
WHO SHOULD I BRING TO THE APPOINTMENT?
Sensitive and confidential medical information may be discussed in your genetic counselling appointment. Please ensure that you are willing for anyone joining you in the session to be privy to this information. We prefer not to have young children present in the consultation. If your appointment is about your young child, please note that the consultation does not include examination of your child. Therefore, if at all possible, please arrange care for them while we meet.
CAN I HAVE GENETIC TESTING FIRST AND SEE YOU WITH THE RESULT?
An integral part of the genetic counselling process is to decide on a testing strategy, taking family history, medical history, medical aid cover and cost into account. An appropriate testing strategy could avoid unnecessary costs. The interpretation of genetic test results needs to incorporate the family history. Pre-test genetic counselling ensures that you make an informed decision and understand the possible implications of undergoing genetic testing.
DOES GENETIC COUNSELLING = GENETIC TESTING?
Due to the limitations of genetic testing, the process of genetic counselling involves risk assessment without genetic testing. We also offer genetic counselling for multifactorial conditions, for which genetic testing is not readily available, for example psychiatric conditions, autism and neural tube defects.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM MY DOCTOR?
We prefer to involve your managing clinician and provide feedback after you are seen, to ensure that our risk assessment and any genetic testing results are integrated into your ongoing care.
DO YOU OFFER WELLNESS SCREENING?
We offer proactive genetic screening for actionable genetic risk factors: genetic risk factors for which there are clear management guidelines to decrease or manage the identified risk. Such tests should be requested and interpreted in the context of your family history by a genetics professional.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO GENETIC COUNSELLORS HAVE?
Following an undergraduate and Honours degree, a Masters degree in Genetic Counselling is obtained. Before registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, all genetic counsellors must complete a 2-year internship.
WHY IS GENETIC COUNSELLING FOR HEREDITARY BREAST CANCER IMPORTANT?
Please visit the following link to watch an information video about genetic counselling for hereditary breast cancer: