Genetic testing for cancer risk is done when someone has a family history suggesting an inherited cancer risk. Genetic information helps experts identify people with an increased risk of cancer or reveals information derived from the person’s family history of diseases. Let’s know what genes are. Genes are pieces of deoxyribonucleic acid in human cells. They work in our body and make the proteins that the human body needs in order to function properly. Deoxyribonucleic Acid is also abbreviated as DNA.
It is present in each cell and passes from generation to generation. Changes in genes are called mutations. Mutations may affect the functioning of the cells and may affect the way human cells grow and develop. Experts can identify genetic changes in cancer cells by carrying out DNA sequencing tests. Moreover, tumor DNA sequencing can determine the presence of inherited mutations. Clinical DNA sequencing can also reveal other inherited diseases that a person may suffer in the future.
Is Cancer Genetics?
Undoubtedly yes, cancer is a genetic disease that is caused owing to certain changes to genes that control the functioning of our cells. Genes instruct our cells to make proteins. Certain gene changes can cause cells not to grow at a normal growth pace and thus lead to cancer. Genetic changes that promote cancer are inherited from our parents. If these changes remain present in the germ cells, which are the reproductive cells of the human body, these may pass from one generation to another generation.
Types of Genetic Cancer
Genetic cancer can be passed from one generation to the next generation. Genetic cancer has various types. We have mentioned all these types of genetic cancer below. If you are not aware of these types, take a look at these types of genetic cancer now.
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Melanoma (a skin cancer)
- Ovarian cancer
Note: We have named the different types of genetic cancer on the page. Now, we will know about the different aspects of genetic testing. Read below in detail.
Know What Genetic Testing is?
During genetic testing, experts take the help of medical tests to find certain mutations in one’s genes. Nowadays, various genetic tests are implemented, and more are being developed. Genetic testing is done in several ways. We will pay attention to its use in finding the gene changes associated with cancer.
Predictive genetic testing
This testing is used to find the inherited gene mutations that may increase the chances of getting genetic cancer. Take a look at why one needs the test.
- If you are a person with a family history of any sort of cancer and want to know if you carry a gene mutation that increases cancer risk, you may go for genetic testing.
- If one is already diagnosed with cancer, they may undergo testing to see if they have inherited cancer. Those already diagnosed with cancer may know whether they are likely to have any other type of cancer.
- The testing is vital to the family members of the person who has an inherited gene mutation that increases cancer risk. This type of testing can assist them in knowing if they are safe or if they need to take appropriate steps to lower the cancer risk.
Note: The predictive genetic testing is generally done when family history suggests there’s cancer that may be inherited.
Testing Cancer Cells to Look for Genetic Changes
When a person has been diagnosed with cancer, the experts will carry out tests on a sample of the cancer cells in order to find certain gene changes. The tests can reveal important information and help experts understand which treatment will be useful for such a person.
What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is communication between both patients and genetics professionals. Genetics professional provides all the valuable information regarding the individual’s family history of diseases and tells about the genetic testing and other related details to keep one safe from genetic cancer. In simple words, a genetics professional gives advice on how to prevent genetic cancer. Below are all the important details that a genetics professional may provide:
- Family history of diseases.
- Full analysis of genetic information.
- Details about inheritance, genetic testing, risk reduction, adaption to the condition, etc.
Who Needs to Have Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing is for those who have had cancer of certain types in their family. If you are linked to any one of these situations mentioned below, you should focus on genetic testing. Genetic testing will help you know whether you are safe or need to go through cancer treatment. We have mentioned why you need to have genetic testing. Read below.
- If some of your first-degree relatives have had cancer in the past, you should consider genetic testing.
- If cancer in your family is thought to be linked to a single gene mutation, you should consider genetic testing. Genetic testing will let you know about your genetic health.
- If any one of your family members has over one type of cancer, it is important to have genetic testing to remain safe from genetic cancer.
- If any one of your family members had cancer at a younger age, it is wise of you to have genetic testing.
- If any one of your close relatives had hereditary cancer, you need to have genetic testing.
- If anyone in your family has breast cancer, you need to undergo the genetic testing process.
- If you belong to an ethnicity such as; Jewish, take time to get yourself checked. This ancestry is known to have suffered breast cancer. In such a case, you should have genetic testing.
Note: Genetic testing is important for people to remain prepared to fight against genetic cancer in advance. If any one of the above-mentioned activities and situations is associated with you, you need to have genetic testing.
If your family has a history of genetic cancer of any type, get yourself checked today by visiting the University Cancer Centers. Our highly qualified physicians here assist patients in recovering in the least possible time.