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genetic counseling

1) A process, involving an individual or family, comprising: evaluation to confirm, diagnose, or exclude a genetic condition, malformation syndrome, or isolated birth defect; discussion of natural history and the role of heredity; identification of medical management issues; calculation and communication of genetic risks; provision of or referral for psychosocial support.

2) Guidance provided by a medical professional typically to individuals with an increased risk of having offspring with a specific genetic disorder and that includes providing information and advice concerning the probability of producing offspring with the disorder, prenatal diagnostic tests, and available treatments.

3) Genetic counseling is the professional interaction between a healthcare provider with specialized knowledge of genetics and an individual or family. The genetic counselor determines whether a condition in the family may be genetic and estimates the chances that another relative may be affected. Genetic counselors also offer and interpret genetic tests that may help to estimate risk of disease. The genetic counselor conveys information in an effort to address concerns of the client and provides psychological counseling to help families adapt to their condition or risk. Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

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