Genetic Counseling

What are Genetic Counselors?

Genetic counselors are professionals who are specially trained to identify genetic issues and to help patients understand complex genetic information. Genetic counselors have advanced education in both medical genetics and counseling, and work with patients seeking:

  • Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the risk for diseases with a strong genetic component and the chance of recurrence
  • Education about disease inheritance, management, prevention, and resources
  • Education about genetic tests and what tests may or may not tell
  • Interpretation of genetic testing results
  • Counseling to promote informed choices about genetic health

With expertise in counseling, genetic counselors can also provide emotional support as you make decisions and empower you with information for your overall healthcare.

 

In a pre-conception setting such as a fertility practice, genetic counseling is focused on reproductive risk and involves meeting with patients/couples to discuss topics such as:

  • Parental carrier screening results and residual risk
  • Autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked disorders
  • Translocations and chromosomal variants
  • Family history of genetic disorders
  • Whether a family history of cancer warrants further evaluation
  • Selection of a genetically compatible egg or sperm donor
  • Risk of chromosomally abnormal embryos (Aneuploidy)
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) for known parental mutations and cytogenetic anomalies
  • Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) for aneuploidy

 

Meet Teresa Cacchione, MS, CGC 

Teresa Cacchione is a board-certified genetic counselor who provides guidance to patients on a number of genetics-related issues such as cytogenetic anomalies, carrier screening, family history concerns, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening (PGD/PGS) of embryos, including single gene disorders, aneuploidy, and mosaicism. She also serves as a resource for the staff at RMA of New York and participates in continuing education for RMA’s diverse array of healthcare professionals.

Teresa graduated summa cum laude from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and obtained her Master of Science in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.  During her graduate studies she trained in multiple areas of genetic counseling including preconception, prenatal, cancer, and pediatric/adult genetics.  Her clinical rotations included sites such as NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, Genescreen, Reprogenetics, Boston Children’s Health, and Bridgeport Hospital.  In addition, her graduate thesis regarding patient education on prenatal cell-free DNA screening was accepted for presentation at the 36th Annual Conference of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Before she became a genetic counselor, Teresa worked for RMA of New York for five years as an IVF Coordinator where she educated patients about treatment options, arranged multiple aspects of care, and supported patients through their fertility journey. During that time she also contributed to several of the practice’s research studies and was published as first author on a study in Fertility & Sterility looking at the reproductive potential of female cystic fibrosis carriers.  Her years spent in the field of fertility both before and during her graduate education make her uniquely adept at educating, counseling, and supporting patients in regards to their genetics-related concerns at multiple stages of fertility treatment.  She is a member of both the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Scheduling

If you are interested in genetic counseling, please inform your clinical team.  Genetic counseling services are included in the cost of treatment for all active RMA of New York patients.

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