Who Should Get Genetic Testing? You should consider getting genetic testing if you have:
- A recent or current cancer diagnosis at a young age
- Multiple types of any cancer or multiple people with cancer in your family
Often, people learn about several cases of cancer in their family. They want to know what’s causing it and what it means for them. Others get to the point of having children or already have young children and worry about what a history of cancer in the family means for their risk.
Sometimes people facing mammograms or colonoscopies talk with their providers and want to know more about their risks.
Whatever your reason, having a genetic risk assessment from an expert gives you the information and reassurance you need to make the best choices for your health.
If You Already Have Cancer: How Genetics Can Help
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you may want to know what caused it. Genetic testing can also inform the best way to treat your cancer.
Certain chemotherapy treatments, for instance, can target specific genes. If you inherited a high-risk cancer gene mutation, you might consider more aggressive treatments, like surgery, to prevent cancer from spreading. For example, genetic testing for breast cancer can help you decide on surgery to remove a small lump or your whole breast.
If Your Family Has Cancer: Understanding Your Genetic Risk
You may have a family history of cancer and wonder what chances you or your children have of developing the disease. A known predisposition to cancer in your family can impact a number of your life choices.
Knowing you or your children’s risk, your genetic counselor can work with you to identify the appropriate cancer screenings to have and when to get them. Catching cancer early gives you best chance for effective treatment.
Before You Get a Genetic Blood Test
We will counsel you on:
- The benefits and risks of testing
- Testing process
- Emotional and psychological impacts of testing
- Screening and monitoring options
- Diagnostic and treatment options
- Cancer prevention
- Talking with family members about cancer risk
- Privacy of your genetic information
We want to make sure you feel confident about getting tested and what it could mean for you or your family before you decide to move forward with genetic testing.