Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment
Developments in genetic research have given the oncology patient and his family an important tool for understanding and evaluating the risks of certain tumors, based on the scientific understanding of their genetic makeup. Tests are now available that can detect specific gene mutations and determine if a person has an inherited predisposition that could put them at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Why is Genetic Testing Important
Genetic tests do not predict with 100% certainty whether a person will develop cancer or not. However, they mark an individualized risk assessment that can be used by the individual and their physician to support critical medical and lifestyle decisions that can help prevent cancer and suggest regular diagnostic tests that can detect cancer in earlier stages when it is most treatable.
Does Everyone Need Genetic Testing ?
Not all people need genetic testing. For example, a person might consider genetic testing if he or she or a family member 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