Genetic Testing for Cancer

If you could determine your likelihood for developing cancer, would you? Today, you can undergo genetic testing for cancer. These tests are meant to help estimate your chance of developing specific cancers during your lifetime by identifying specific mutations in your genes. Although these tests are unable to determine if you will in fact develop cancer, they may prove useful for the following:

  • Determining your risk for a particular cancer
  • Determining if you have specific genes that may pass an increased risk of certain cancers to your offspring
  • Mitigating your risk for cancer by performing regular cancer screenings and remaining proactive

How Does Genetic Testing For Cancer Work?

Gene mutations can cause certain cells to grow rapidly and out of control, leading to cancer. Identifying if a gene mutation is present may determine if there is an enhanced likelihood for developing certain cancers as a result. However, it is important to keep in mind that only 5% to 10% of cancers are thought to be strongly related to an inherited gene mutation. In most cases, cancers form due to acquired gene mutations that take place during an individual’s lifetime. These acquired mutations are not passed down the family line.

For Which Cancers Are Genetic Testing Available?

Genetic testing is offered for a variety of different cancers, such as:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

If you have a family history of one of the cancers above, genetic testing may be able to aid in determining if you are at a heightened risk for developing the cancer. If you have a concern about a cancer not on the list, speak to our doctor to determine if testing is available.

Is Genetic Testing For Cancer Right For Me?

If you are concerned about a pattern of cancer in your family, such as several first-degree relatives with cancer, have been diagnosed with cancer in the past, or have other risk factors for cancer, genetic testing for cancer may be a fit for you.

Deciding to undergo genetic testing for cancer is a personal decision and may not be right for everyone. If you are considering the testing, it is a good idea to speak in depth to your doctor and family and/or friends before making a decision. The results, either positive or negative, could greatly impact your life, so it is important to be prepared.

Have You Been Diagnosed With Cancer?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, let the compassionate, expert oncology team at Sun Coast Cancer Institute help. Our team is dedicated to providing patients with the cancer care they deserve. Learn more about our practice and request an appointment today.

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