Athens Regional Health System

Genetic Counseling

The Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support offers two genetic cancer risk assessment counselors.

Breast health and oncology nurse Susan Nemetz and oncology social worker Lauren Richards help area residents understand how genetics impacts your risk of developing cancer, determine the level of risk one has for developing breast and/or colon cancer and assist with the decision to be tested or not.
During a counseling session they meet with families to discuss the issues surrounding genetic testing such as cost, concern about discrimination and emotional issues, draw and evaluate family medical pedigrees, and recommend the appropriate next step.  Susan and Lauren are able to assign a numerical value to your risk for an inherited genetic mutation, establishing whether you meet the criteria for medical testing. 

But that's not all. Our counselors also help people deal with the decision to have the tests. And they help patients analyze and cope with their results and the impact on their lives and the lives of family members.

Deciding to have the test is easy for some, and incredibly difficult for others. We're here to help you sort through your thoughts and make the choice that's best for you.

Going through the genetic counseling process does not commit you to having a genetic blood test. However, there is a fee connected with the counseling process, and financial assistance is available.

For more information about cancer risk genetic counseling, or to make a referral, contact the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support at 706-475-4900.

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