It's international Genetic Counsellor Awareness Day - giving us reason to celebrate the vital role that our genetic counsellors play in helping people understand the impact of inherited conditions, and make informed choices about their health.
"Our genetic counsellors work in a variety of areas including clinical, research and laboratory settings, and provide important support and education to people and families living with genetic conditions. A lot of people aren't aware of the role that genetic counsellors play. There are people who might benefit from seeing a genetic counsellor but just don't know we exist" says Lucinda Salmon, who is our manager of Clinical Genetics, as well as a senior genetic counsellor.
Genetic counsellors have specialised training in genetics and counselling. Austin Health runs Family Cancer Clinics at the ONJ Centre and across Victoria, including a number of regional centres.
"People are referred to us when their doctors suspect that they may have a genetic condition, or where there's a known family history of one," says Lucinda.
If you think you might benefit from genetic counselling, speak to your GP or treating specialist.