Genetic Screening for Cancer Helps Save Lives
By M. Bruno
According to the American Cancer Society, there are approximately 1.8 million people who will contract cancer annually. Of those, roughly 156 in 100,00 will lose their lives to the disease. Thankfully, there exist ways today to lower the risk of getting cancer.
Advances in medicine now make it possible to predict the probability of many cancers and position both patient and physician to take proactive preventative action to lower the risk of cancer in many cases.
Genetic testing involves medical testing to discover if there are mutations in an individual’s genes. A relatively new advance in the world of medicine, genetic screening has proven to be both effective in helping to lower the risks of cancer and save lives.
One powerful application for genetic testing is to look for changes in genes that are linked to cancer. These gene changes are called mutations and help determine the probability and risk to the patient in getting specific cancers
Genetic testing for cancer is testing used to search for inherited gene mutation which may indicate a higher risk of contracting cancer.
Genetic Cancer Screening may be appropriate if an individual has
- A family history of cancer. The test would help determine if the individual has a gene mutation that increases risk.
- A person has cancer. Genetic cancer screening might show if there a high risk of the individual contracting other types of cancer.
- Family members of a cancer patient may want to take a genetic screening test to determine if they are at risk of contracting cancer.
- This will give them a heads up that can be used for preventative or other action under the care of their physician. This has the potential to stop cancer from spreading to family members who share the same genetic makeup and potentially save lives now and in the future
- Some of the common cancers that are screened in the test include breast cancer, colon cancer, cancer of the eye, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and others
Genetic screening for cancer involves a simple test that can be done at home after approved by a doctor. The patient will receive an easy to use the kit and will take a swab. After the test, the material is sent to the laboratory as directed where the test will be conducted the test is completed at a laboratory and the results reported to the prescribing physician who will share the report with the patient and make suggestions for any possibly recommended course of action to lower risk
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