To find a genetic counselor in your area, select the "Find A Genetic Counselor" tab from the National Society of Genetic Counselors' website, where you can search in a variety of ways - by name, company/institution, city, state, zip code, country, work setting or area of specialty.
May 20, 2013
“The biggest change over the last five years I’d say is just the technology has exploded. We are no longer testing for one single gene at a time. We can actually test for 20-40 genes with one single test, and we can even test the entire person’s genome.” – Rebecca Nagy, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors
Jolie admired for bravery in mastectomy revelation
May 14, 2013
"Having this conversation empowers us all," said Rebecca Nagy, a genetic counselor who works frequently with women who test positive for a defective version of the BRCA1 gene, as Jolie did. "It's wonderful what she's done."
May 14, 2013
Jolie’s experience, and her decision, while certainly not novel, is likely to raise awareness about genetic testing and its role in diagnosing and treating cancer. “I think we will see an increase over the next months for sure in genetic testing for breast cancer,” says Rebecca Nagy, a genetic counselor at Ohio State University’s medical center and president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. “But what’s important to know is that it’s not appropriate to test everybody.”
Los Angeles Times
May 14, 2013
What genes are involved in breast cancer?
The two primary ones are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Hundreds of variants of these genes have been found that make a woman — or a man — more likely to develop breast cancer. The mutations can increase one's lifetime risk of breast cancer from about 50% to more than 85%, said Rebecca Nagy, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
May 14, 2013
Women — and men — who think they are candidates for genetic testing should first discuss their family histories with their physicians, says Rebecca Nagy, a genetic counselor at Ohio State University and president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. If testing might be appropriate, the next step is an appointment with a genetic counselor, she says.
New Haven Register
May 14, 2013
Women who are at risk should talk to their doctors and a genetic counselor. Matloff said women can find a counselor near them at www.nsgc.org, the website of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
April 11, 2013
You'll want professional help to sort through the facts. Visits to genetic counselors are often covered by insurers and billed like doctor's visits. You can find a counselor at nsgc.org.
Genomics Careers Series: What it Takes to Be a Genetic Counselor
New York Genome Center
April 10, 2013
But the field is growing, and there are professional organizations like the NSGC focused on that growth. "The curve is moving in the right direction, but our focus at NSGC is to be more intentional about that growth and not be passively hoping that we grow," Nagy says. To that end, the organization has an annual educational conference every fall and also offers online courses, webinars, and outreach education to physicians about what genetic counselors do, in order to keep its membership updated on the latest advancements in genetics, and remind doctors of the benefits of genetic counseling services.
Evolving Role of Genetic Counselors
ADVANCE For Administrators of the Laboratory
March 6, 2013
A recent survey of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) membership found that nearly half of GCs utilize telephone genetic counseling, telegenetic videoconferencing and group genetic counseling models, in addition to the traditional in-person genetic counseling model.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
The rapidly evolving prenatal testing landscape is one that geneticists and genetic counselors must watch closely, says Jennifer Hoskovec, Director of Prenatal Counseling Services at the University of Texas in Houston, and President Elect of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).
Find a certified genetic counselor.
Enter your zip code in the National Society of Genetic Counselors' database at NSGC.org to find one near you.
February 18, 2013
The Chicago-based National Society of Genetic Counselors cautions consumers about DNA testing that reveals both ancestral and medical information. The tests can be misleading if left unexplained by a professional counselor, President Rebecca Nagy said.
World Changing Ideas 2012 (Subscription Required)
“Our ability to detect genomic changes has outpaced our ability to correlate many of those changes with human diseases and characteristics,” says Brenda Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
Startup Targets Genes Tied to Heart Disease
October 12, 2012
Will all this genetic testing be good for patients? "That's the million-dollar question," says Brenda Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. "It may be that certain genes confer a slightly increased risk of disease, but do we really have enough evidence to validate those genes? The verdict is still out."
8 Things To Know Before Your Genes Are Tested
“The purpose of genetic testing is to better assess a person’s chances of having a disease or passing it on to their children,” says Rebecca Nagy, president-elect of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.”
Pop quiz: What would you do if you knew Alzheimer’s disease was in your future?
July 3, 2012
"Genetic counselors are experts in genetic diseases who can be extremely helpful in explaining how different disorders travel in families. They can help assess personal risk, and act as sounding boards when it comes to options like genetic testing…To find a genetic counselor in your area, head to the National Society of Genetic Counselors’ website, which allows a variety of searches."
"All genetic counselors are, at our core, science geeks who didn't want to work in labs but with people," said Brenda Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, which counts about 80 percent of all genetic counselors in its membership.
Prenatal genetic test offers more information, raises questions
June 11, 2012
"As long as the counseling piece is there to help parents make informed decisions about this information, I support it," [Jennifer] Hoskovec said. "I think it's fantastic that we are able to provide patients with information we couldn't provide them with in the past. But I tell them, just because we can provide this information, it doesn't mean we need to."
"Some people like to plan everything out," says Brenda Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. "They think the information is empowering, while some people want to see how life plays out."
Dallas Morning News
April 17, 2012
“If there are 20 different genetic factors that influence a specific disease, examining only two SNPs is not likely to provide clinically meaningful information,” says Brenda Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. In some cases, she adds, a patient might receive different risk results depending on the company used, because each direct-to-consumer testing company may be looking at entirely different SNP combinations for each disease.
American Medical News
April 2, 2012
These tests often are used to help identify the cause of children’s developmental delays and to detect one’s risk of developing a disease such as breast cancer, said [Brenda] Finucane, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She discusses with patients how the test works and what types of health findings it might uncover.
Genetic testing can pinpoint disease, but knowing risks has drawbacks
Detroit Free Press
February 26, 2012
Perhaps most frustrating is when genetic testing only deepens a mysterious ailment or symptom, especially when it comes to children, said Cheryl Harper, a certified genetic counselor in Beaumont's pediatrics department and a board member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
“The goal of testing,” explains Rebecca Nagy, a genetic counselor at Ohio State University, in Columbus, is not to just acquire information, “but to prevent healthy individuals from ever getting cancer in the first place.” It makes sense then, she says, that the person who has been diagnosed with cancer is typically first to be tested; if that individual doesn’t have a mutation, there is no reason to consider testing his or her children. Likewise, testing should not be done until a person has reached an age at which the cancer risk associated with the mutation can be reduced through screening, surgical procedures or lifestyle change.