Hereditary cancer screening is a type of genetic testing done to determine a patient’s risk of developing any of nearly a dozen cancers linked to genetic mutations. Some mutations are acquired, which means the patient was not born with them but developed them later on. The mutations that cause skin cancer, for example, are often caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Other genetic mutations, however, run in families, and genetic testing can identify those. If a patient has such mutations, their risk of developing a given cancer increases.
Who Should Undergo Testing?
Generally speaking, people with a known family history of a given cancer should undergo hereditary cancer screening. This is particularly true if they have a close relative, like a parent or sibling, who had that cancer. People should also consider hereditary cancer screening if any of the following are true:
• Several people within the family have had the same type of cancer
• People within the family developed cancer at a younger age than usual
• Family members who underwent genetic testing have known genetic mutations linked to cancer
• The patient has or had a physical condition linked to cancer like lots of polyps in the colon
• The patient belongs to an ethnic group known to be particularly susceptible to some cancers
What Does It Involve?
The process is extremely simple and non-invasive; the patient simply provides a sample of their saliva. From there, the sample can be examined in a lab. The expert will look for the genetic mutations associated with cancers like the following:
• Endometrial (uterine)
Mutated genes can dramatically increase the risk of developing some cancers. For example, they increase the chances of developing colorectal cancer by over 99 percent!
If you do prove to have a mutated gene linked to a cancer, talk to our doctor. He can advise you on what to do. Some cancers are relatively easy to prevent. A healthy lifestyle can help decrease the risk of developing certain cancers.
If you think you could benefit from hereditary cancer screening, make an appointment at MD Age Management in Winter Park, FL. Many people in the Orlando, FL area have gotten a better picture of their overall health by undergoing this simple test. Contact us today to book a consultation and get started.