Genetic Testing

Genetic counselors at Swedish help doctors and patients pinpoint potential health problems at an early stage. Genetic testing services at Swedish include prenatal testing and follow-up, hereditary risk testing, and community and professional education.

Genetic testing can help patients and their physicians develop a personalized treatment plan, as well as indicate appropriate screening tests and medical procedures for relatives who may be at risk of cancer. 

Patients and family members meet with a board-certified genetic counselor who will review medical and family histories to determine which genetic tests are appropriate, as well as the risks, advantages and costs of genetic testing for hereditary cancers.

The genetic counselor works closely with oncologists, surgeons and other cancer specialists to help integrate the genetic-test results into patient care and surveillance for cancer.

Genetic counseling and testing at Swedish can help determine your risk and your family members' risks for developing hereditary cancers including, but not limited to:

  • Breast cancers
  • Ovarian cancers
  • Colon cancers

Genetic counseling is covered by most health insurance plans, but you should contact your health insurance company to know what coverage your plan provides. See some helpful tips for having a conversation with your insurance company.

With recent advances, there are many genetic testing options during pregnancy. During pregnancy you have the option of a screening test or a diagnostic test. Screening tests are overall less invasive, while diagnostic tests provide more accurate information. Before choosing any test, it may be helpful to discuss this information with your doctor and/or genetic counselor. This will help you get the knowledge and support you need to make the best decisions for you and your pregnancy. 

Prenatal genetic counseling can help you by providing: 

  • Pros and cons of prenatal genetic testing options during and before pregnancy
  • Personal guidance on test decision-making through test results
  • Patient-friendly explanations of complex medical information
  • Guidance for each patient to make informed, independent decisions about their health care and reproductive options
  • Resources and educational materials

Before a test is performed, genetic counselors review with each patient:

  • Which tests are appropriate for the circumstance
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the test
  • The potential impact or implications of the test results

Genetic testing is usually done through a blood draw. Counselors communicate test results to the patient, and if necessary or appropriate, the patient’s physician may then review available treatment options or recommendations.

Insurance coverage for genetic services varies, depending on the health plan and medical circumstance.

Providers Specializing in Genetic Testing

At Swedish, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.