GENETIC CANCER SCREENING
About 5% to 10% of all cancers are thought to be related to gene mutations that are inherited or passed down through the family. Having an inherited genetic mutation does not mean you will get cancer. It means you are at a higher risk for developing a certain type or types of cancer.
Medical tests can look for many inherited gene mutations. This type of testing is called predictive genetic testing. It’s usually recommended when certain types of cancer run in a family and a gene mutation is suspected.
You might consider this type of testing if:
- You have several first-degree relatives (mother, father, sisters, brothers, children) with cancer.
- Many relatives on one side of your family have had the same type of cancer.
- A cluster of cancers in your family are known to be linked to a single gene mutation (such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers in your family).
- A family member has more than 1 type of cancer.
- Family members have had cancer at a younger age than normal for that type of cancer.
- Close relatives have cancers that are linked to hereditary cancer syndromes.
- A family member has a rare cancer, such as breast cancer in a man or retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer).
- Ethnicity (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry is linked to ovarian and breast cancers).
- A physical finding is linked to an inherited cancer (such as having many colon polyps).
- One or more family members have already had genetic testing that found a mutation.
PREVENTION IS THE KEY
The PREVENTEST, is the first Comprehensive Cancer Risk Assessment test designed to determine your risk of developing up to 8 cancer types. Armed with this critical genetic information as well as other medical and family facts, you can create a strategy to reduce your risk of developing one or more of these 8 prevalent cancers.
WHAT IS GENETIC TESTING FOR CANCER RISK?
Genetic testing for cancer risk is predictive testing, which means a test that can help predict the likelihood that an individual will develop cancer in his or her lifetime. Not everyone with a cancer-related gene will develop cancer.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER WHEN IT COMES TO CANCER RISK TESTING AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
People at a higher risk for cancer may have the option of having more frequent cancer screenings, avoiding specific risk factors, making lifestyle changes to lessen additional risk, taking preventive medication (chemoprevention) or having risk reducing surgeries in order to reduce their risk of developing cancer.