• By Taylor Leigh
  • Posted November 10, 2017

Why Genetic Counselors are Integral to Ambry

In our more than 20 years of operation, Ambry has come a long way. Looking back, it’s important to remember that we would not be “Ambry Genetics” without our genetic counselors. Ambry is built on the foundation of quality genetic testing that helps people find answers – and genetic counselors have been with us from the beginning, working …


  • By Alexandria Meyer
  • Posted November 9, 2017

I am a Genetic Counselor- What Does That Mean?

“Genetic counselor” is not just a job title, though it is one that I have been enormously proud to carry for the past 10 years.  In that time, I have come to primarily think of “genetic counselor” as a term which embodies a skill set.  Just like Liam Neeson in “Taken,” we have a very special set of skills,  however, our skills allow …


  • By Desiree Magee
  • Posted November 8, 2017

Genetic Counselors: Companions on the Journey to Rare Disease Diagnosis

Our daughter Daphne started missing developmental milestones at around 6 months of age. She was unable to sit on her own and unwilling to eat baby food.  We started down the path of diagnosis, which was long and exhausting and went like this:  First, we went to our pediatrician to document our initial concerns and obtain referrals for a physical …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted October 16, 2017

Identifying Patients with Lynch Syndrome: A Paired Somatic/Germline Testing Approach

Lynch syndrome is one of the most common hereditary cancer syndromes, affecting about 1/279-1/440 people in the U.S. It is caused by a genetic mutation in one of five genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, or EPCAM. Individuals with Lynch syndrome have a significantly increased lifetime risk for multiple types of cancer including colorectal …


  • By Laurie Curtis
  • Posted September 28, 2017

How my Genetic Counselor Provided Guidance When I Needed it Most

I went in for genetic testing because cancer runs in my family: My maternal grandfather had prostate cancer; his sister had an unidentified cancer; my mother died from ovarian cancer; both her sisters have had breast cancer, one of which had bilateral breast cancer, 18 years apart; and 2 of my 3 female cousins have had breast cancer. One cousin …


  • By Taylor Leigh
  • Posted July 27, 2017

Ambry GC Melissa Truelson Advances Qualified Genetic Counseling in Minnesota

  *Editor’s Note: For this article, we interviewed one of Ambry’s genetic counselors, Melissa Truelson, MS, CGC, who was instrumental in passing local healthcare legislation in her home state of Minnesota. One of Ambry’s genetic counselors, Melissa Truelson, MS, CGC, continually strives to advance qualified genetic counseling …


  • By Carin Espenschied
  • Posted June 29, 2017

What Happens When I Get My Genetic Test Results?

*Editor's Note: This post was originally shared on June 8th, 2016 and has been updated with current information.    Learning the results of genetic testing can be a stressful experience for some, but it also has the potential to be empowering.  If you are waiting for your genetic test results to come back or are considering …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted May 18, 2017

How are Direct-to-Consumer and Medical-Grade Genetic Tests Different?

As we find more ways to take charge of our health, genetic testing is becoming something that many consider and, in fact, has become easier to access than ever before. An appointment with a doctor or genetic counselor is no longer required to access genetic testing – for some types of genetic tests, it’s now possible to order a test kit online, …


  • By Brittney Murray, MS, CGC
  • Posted April 27, 2017

Using Technology to Help with your Genetic Heart Disease Risk

Technology is everywhere.  It has become pervasive in our lives.  Phones and computers became smaller, smaller, and then somehow bigger and bigger again as our phones become our new computers. Increasing technological advances are also propelling healthcare: newer techniques, smarter robotics, and new drugs.  Within genetics, testing techniques …


  • By Jackie Connor
  • Posted March 30, 2017

Ambry Talks Plans for Personalized Genomic Test Launch, Third Annual Trivia Night a Hit

On Thursday evening, March 23rd, an audience of more than 100 genetic counselors and geneticists from across the United States listened to Ambry Genetics’ Clinical Genomics Marketing Manager Layla Shahmirzadi, MS, CGC, discuss plans to launch a personalized genomic test for healthy individuals.  The talk took place at Events on Jackson venue …


  • By Kory Jasperson, MS,CGC
  • Posted March 23, 2017

How Expert Care Teams Can Help You - Repost

Editor’s Note: In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are re-posting this piece by an Ambry genetic counselor. His many years of clinical experience working with families affected by hereditary colorectal cancer helped him understand the importance of expert care teams, and how they can help you. My name is …


  • By Selvi Palaniappan, MS, CGC
  • Posted March 9, 2017

Individual Genetic Test Results Lead to Individual Considerations

As a genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics, I’m happy to be contributing to the Ambry patient blog during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer can happen by chance, but it can also be inherited. Your doctor or genetic counselor can evaluate your family history to determine if you should consider genetic testing …


  • By Michelle Jackson
  • Posted August 4, 2016

And Now, A Little Something For the Men Facing Hereditary Cancer

As a female genetic counselor, I can say I have counseled many men regarding their risk for hereditary cancer.  I have seen the different reactions and responses they have had. I have looked for different information (from what I provided to females) to give to them, if it will help. I cannot say I have any idea what it is like to be a man …


  • By Tara Namey
  • Posted July 28, 2016

What to Expect Regarding Your Health Care Following the Identification of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Gene Mutation

When you learn that you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, there are naturally questions as to what this will mean for your ongoing medical care and what you will need to do differently.    The initial conversation with your healthcare provider will likely include a discussion about the options available to more carefully …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted June 30, 2016

What Healthcare Providers Learn from Their Patients

When you go to an appointment with your healthcare provider, what do you expect? Information. Discussion. Compassion. Maybe a plan. And for good measure, a joke or two? That’s what I expect, anyway, when things are going well. That combination definitely shifts if things aren’t going well with my health. Then I expect to learn facts, offered …


  • By Georgia Hurst
  • Posted June 6, 2016

The Importance of Genetic Counseling With Genetic Testing

As I sit in the hereditary cancer trenches, I see the negative effects of genetic testing sans certified genetic counseling every single day – and it is an enormous problem. Many of the fears and concerns that people discuss with me could be addressed and ameliorated simply if they spoke with a certified genetic counselor before …


  • By Kory Jasperson, MS,CGC
  • Posted May 18, 2016

How Expert Care Teams Can Help You

My name is Kory Jasperson. If you asked my friends or family to tell you something about me, they’d probably tell you I’m an adrenaline junkie. They all know how much I love jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, off the tops of buildings, and even off the peaks of mountains or cliffs. Although some of my colleagues may reiterate the …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted March 3, 2016

I survived cancer, so why do I need genetic testing for it?

As As a clinical genetic counselor, I saw many cancer survivors for genetic counseling. In some cases, it had been 30-40 years since they were diagnosed. Some of them were in their 60s-70s when I saw them, but they were young at the time of their cancer diagnosis. Years later, they were referred to me to talk about the possibility that their …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted February 4, 2016

Coping with Cancer: 5 Lessons from my Patients

As a clinical genetic counselor, a big part of my job was educating my patients about the basics of genetics and hereditarycancer. Another equally, if not more, important part of my job was to talk to them about how a diagnosis of cancer, a positive genetic test result, or a combination of the two was impacting their life and those of their …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted January 21, 2016

Advocacy groups: I got more out of it than they did

Several years ago when I was a new genetic counselor, doe-eyed and fresh out of grad school, I made sure certain topics came up in every session I had with a family. I covered the facts: the family history I’d collected, a review of genetic patterns, and any genetic testing options the family needed to consider. I’d usually write down …