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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Genetic Testing - What Is Genetic Counseling?

Information from genetic testing can have a big impact on your life. Ask to have genetic counseling before making a decision about testing. Genetic counselors are trained to explain the test and its results, but you make the decision about whether to have the test. A genetic counselor can help you make well-informed decisions. Genetic counseling can help you and your family:

  • Understand medical facts, including what causes diseases, how a diagnosis is made, and what you may be able to do to help you manage a disease.
  • Understand how your family history contributes to the development of a disease.
  • Help you learn about caring for a family member with a genetic disease, including getting referrals to specialists or joining support groups.

Genetic counselors are trained to help you and your family make informed decisions. They are sensitive to the physical and emotional aspects of these decisions. Your privacy and confidentiality are carefully protected.

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COPD Diagnostic Tests: Pulmonary Function, Spirometry, and More

Doctors may make a diagnosis from reported symptoms and findings from the physical exam. For many conditions, however, a diagnosis cannot be made without conducting tests. This is especially true for lung diseases. Individuals with COPD are often diagnosed with "pulmonary emphysema." This means the air sacs, or "alveoli," of the lungs are damaged. These tiny sacs cannot be seen directly in a physical exam. So, health care providers depend on a series of tests. These tests help them diagnose...

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 24, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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