Genetic testing helps estimate the likelihood of developing cancer in your lifetime. This is done by searching for specific changes in your genes, chromosomes, or proteins. These changes are called mutations.
Genetic tests are available for certain types of cancer. These types include:
Genetic testing can help:
In predicting the risk of a disease
Find out if you have genes that could increase your child’s risk of developing cancer
In providing information to guide your care
No genetic test can tell if you will definitely develop cancer. But it can tell you if you are at higher risk than most people.
Only a few people with a genetic mutation will develop cancer. What does this mean? A woman may have a 45% to 65% chance of developing breast cancer. But she may never develop the disease. While a woman with a 25% chance may eventually develop breast cancer.
An inherited cancer is any cancer caused by an inherited genetic mutation. A hereditary gene means that it is passed from parent to child within a family.
The following factors may indicate an increased risk of hereditary cancer:
Family history of cancer. Having 3 or more relatives in the same family side with the same or related cancers.
Cancer at a young age. Having 2 or more relatives diagnosed with cancer at a young age. This factor may vary depending on the type of cancer.
Multiple cancers. When a relative develops 2 or more types of cancer.
Rare forms of cancer. Some types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, adrenal cancer, or sarcoma, are associated with inherited genetic mutations.
Clinical Utility of testing for predisposition of hereditary cancer
Genetic testing is a personal decision made for various reasons. It is also a complex decision that is best made after talking to your family, the health care team, and a genetic counselor.
ASCO recommends that genetic tests should be performed in the following cases:
- Personal or family history of cancer is an indication of a genetic (hereditary) cause of cancer.
- The test will clearly show a specific genetic change.
- The results will help diagnose or manage a condition. For example, you can take steps to reduce the risk. Steps may include surgery, medication, frequent check-ups, or lifestyle changes.
ASCO recommends also receive genetic counseling before and after the performance of genetic tests.
Other factors which should be taken into consideration:
Genetic testing has limitations and emotional consequences that may include:
Depression, anxiety, or guilt. A positive test result means that there is a genetic mutation. This effect may cause unpleasant feelings. Some people may think they are sick, even if they do not develop cancer. The negative effects of the test may also cause emotions. For example, some people may experience guilt if they do not have a gene mutation that other family members have.
Family tension. People are generally encouraged to let family members know about the results of the test because it can be important for the health of the other family members.
A false sense of security. A negative result means that there is no specific genetic mutation. However, people with negative outcomes may develop cancer. A negative result only means that the individual’s risk is average, compared to the rest of the population.
Each person’s risk for cancer is also affected by other factors. For example, lifestyle, environmental exposure, and medical history.
Vague results. A gene may carry a mutation that is not associated with the risk of cancer. This is called a variant of unknown significance. This means that it is not clear whether this particular mutation will increase the risk. Or people may have mutations that current tests can’t detect. Many cancers have not yet been linked to specific gene mutations. Also, some genes may interact unpredictably with other genes or environmental factors. And these interactions may cause cancer. Thus, it may be impossible to accurately calculate the risk of developing hereditary cancer.
Questions that will help you make a decision
Before ordering genetic testing, find out about its limitations. Identify the reasons you want to check. Think about how you will deal with the results of the test.
Here are some questions that will help you make a decision:
Do I have a family history of cancer?
Have I developed cancer before the average age?
How do I interpret the results of genetic tests? Who will help me use this information?
Will the test results affect my medical care or my family’s medical care?
If I have a genetic condition, can I reduce my risk of cancer?
A genetic counselor can help you answer these questions. It can give you advice and information on the risks and benefits of genetic testing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Mutations in tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 & BRCA2 account for a large number of inherited cancer cases, but it is known that there are other genes whose mutations are closely related to carcinogenesis. HereditArray was developed as a method of identifying genetic mutations associated with hereditary cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, pancreas, colon, stomach, and melanoma.
The goal is prevention and early diagnosis at the initial and most curable stages of the disease.
A small amount of blood (~ 10 ml) is obtained, as in a routine blood test. In case you do not make the donation in the premises of microDiagnostics Ltd by appointment, blood should be collected in general blood vial containing EDTA 10ml.
Transport Conditions: The vial with blood is kept at refrigerator temperature (conservation) and is recommended to be transported to the MicroDiagnostics Ltd facility as soon as possible.
contact us at +30 2310 23 22 72 and we will immediately arrange for your quick sample transfer to our laboratory.
by credit/debit card, bank deposit or online interbank deposit
One of the primary concerns of microDiagnostics’ Ltd is the protection of your personal data as well as the strict adherence to the conditions protecting your genetic material and medical results.
In full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we ensure that you are aware and conscious for any examination will be conducted and we do not announce results via phone calls.