Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN®, FAAN, associate chief nursing officer, Emory University Hospital Midtown, president, Oncology Nursing Society, discusses some of the concerns surrounding the growing field of cancer genetic counseling.
Gullatte explains that as the field grows many perpetrators are beginning to emerge. It is important that genetic counselors are held to the same standards as other medical professionals who require training and certification. This education is important because there is a special body of knowledge that genetic counselors need to know in order to accurately advise patients on the best course of action.
As cancer therapy becomes more personalized and geared towards an individual's genetics, it is increasingly important for a patient to receive counseling. This advice may include the next steps following the detection of a cancer gene, which includes preventing cancer from manifesting or possible prophylactic surgeries or medicines.