How did Angelina Jolie Make Her Recent Health Decisions?
This week Angelina Jolie bravely discussed the elective surgeries she pursued to ensure she will not get ovarian cancer. By her taking proactive measures, she can now reassure her children that she can be present for their weddings. But she did not make theses life-changing decisions on her own. Ms. Jolie had genetic counseling to help her make informed choices.
With so much discussion about cancer, you may be left with many questions. You might have concerns about genetic conditions in your family; what about the cancer your aunt had, or your grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease? You may also be curious about genetic testing, and what it could offer you. Many people have concerns about their genetic health, but rarely have the opportunity to ask questions about them.
If you have concerns, there is no reason to feel alarmed. Learning about your genetic health can be an empowering experience. After all, knowledge is power. This post is designed to help you decide if you can benefit from genetic counseling.
What is a genetic counselor?
Genetic counselors are health care providers specialized in delivering genetic care to individuals and families. They can help you understand risks, and gain personalized information and support. They also interpret genetic test results, provide supportive counseling, and advocate for your needs.
Ms Jolie learned key information she needed to make informed health choices through genetic counseling. This involved sharing her personal and family health history regarding cancer and other genetic conditions. Her provider could then assess the risk that this history could have an underlying hereditary cancer syndrome. Her chances were indeed quite high, so she was then offered genetic testing for genes implicated with breast and ovarian cancers. Her health provider walked her through this process, helping her understand what choices presented themselves at each fork in the road. Angelina successfully chose what was right for her, and her family. Not everyone chooses the same course of action, and alternatives to prophylactic surgeries are expected as we see more breakthroughs in precision medicine. Genetic counseling can help you with cutting-edged information, allowing you to make informed choices, deciding on the path that is right for you.
Fortunately, these services are available to you too
Vibrant Gene is an affordable private genetics consulting service that is available to all comers.
Your Vibrant Gene consultation may include:
- Creating a detailed medical and family history
- Gaining essential information about genetic conditions for you and your family
- Understanding the benefits and limitations of genetic testing
- Coordinating genetic testing for you (if desired)
- Interpreting genetic testing results for you
- Summarizing risk-reducing and health promoting recommendations for you
Vibrant Gene will help provide key genetic health information that you can share with your other health providers.
Take Our 1-Minute Genetic Health Quiz…
- Are you concerned about your genetic risk of conditions like diabetes, cancers, heart disease/heart attacks/strokes? Are you interested in a comprehensive approach to prevention?
- Have you ever had a clinical genetic test done at home through a company like 23AndMe? Do you need some guidance understanding the significance of the result? Are you considering pursuing DNA testing online?
- Are you (or your partner) pregnant or planning to expand your family? Do you need advice about having a healthy pregnancy? Are you concerned about your age-related risks to pregnancy? Have you had three or more miscarriages or experienced infertility?
- Are you concerned about a family member’s health condition? Do you need to know if it is genetic, and if so, what does it mean to you and your family?
- Are you taking (or considering) prescription medications for a mental health condition, for pain, or to treat a heart condition? Would you like to confirm the medication is compatible with your genetics, and will not cause adverse effects?
If you answered, “yes!” to any of these questions, you may benefit from a consultation with Vibrant Gene.
How can I find a genetic counselor?
You can find a genetic counselor by contacting Vibrant Gene for a complimentary 10 minute consultation. Alternatively, you may use the Find a Counselor tool on the NSGC website.
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