What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling can help you to make informed decisions about your healthcare. It can be a complex topic, and we are here to help you.
During a genetic counseling appointment, one of Parkview’s board-certified genetic counselors will discuss and review your personal and family medical histories and assess your risk for hereditary cancer. A counselor will talk about how influences such as genetics and environment play a role in the development of cancer. If you are a candidate for genetic testing, the counselor will explain the benefits and limitations of this testing, as well as the possible results.
The decision to have genetic testing is a personal choice. If you decide to move forward with genetic testing, we will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your results. The testing process can take anywhere from three weeks to several months, depending on the test that is ordered. In addition to reviewing your test results, you will be given cancer screening and/or prevention recommendations that are tailored to your specific situation. You will also be connected to additional educational resources and other services at Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Meet our genetics counselors
Melissa Dempsey, MS, CGC, is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s degree in medical and molecular genetics from Indiana University. Prior to coming to Parkview Health, Melissa served as a genetic counselor and director of clinical services and education at The University of Chicago, where she provided prenatal and pediatric genetic counseling and was an integral part of the molecular diagnostics laboratory. Melissa has been the first author on multiple publications and research projects and is also interested in genetics education. She is a member of the Indiana Network of Genetic Counselors, several committees within the National Society of Genetic Counselors and has served on the Education and CME Committee for the American College of Medical Genetics.
Jessica Chowns, MS, CGC, is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in genetic counseling from Arcadia University, Glenside, Penn. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Indiana Network of Genetic Counselors.