Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment
Advances in genetic research have given the cancer patient and his family an important tool to understand and evaluate their risks to certain tumors based on a scientific understanding of their genetic makeup. Today, tests are available that can detect certain gene mutations, and determine whether the person has a hereditary predisposition that may put him at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Why is Genetic Testing Important
Genetic testing does not predict with 100% certainty if the person will develop cancer or not. However it will develop a personalized risk assessment that the person and his physician can use to support critical medical and lifestyle decisions that can help prevent cancer and indicate regular screenings that can detect cancer early when it is most treatable.
Does Everyone Need Genetic Testing ?
Not everyone needs to undergo genetic testing. But as an example, a person may consider genetic testing if he/she or a member of his family has had the following:
- Breast cancer (Female or male) before the age of 50
- Ovarian Cancer
- Uterine (endometrial) cancer before the age of 50
- Colon and/or rectal cancer before the age of 50
How is Genetic Testing Conducted ?
Genetic testing is performed in specialized centers. It goes through three district phases:
- Pre-test consultation: this is personal and family history examination and documentation: conducted by the Oncologist and other specialized physicians.
- The Blood sample taken at Genetic Laboratory, which will conduct the analysis and writes the genetic report
- Post-test consultation: which will review and discuss the genetic findings and address the cancer risks options which may include, close medical observations, frequent testing, preventive surgery or preventive medications among other options