The Importance of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancers

No one wants to face the possibility of cancer. The thought that this deadly illness could affect any part of your body is terrifying. Many people will completely avoid the doctor’s office because they would rather live in denial than deal with any health issues. Avoidance is the worst thing that you can do, especially if you have a family history of cancer.

If many individuals in your family have been victims of cancer, from immediate family members to extended family, you need to realize that there is a threat of cancer affecting you as well. Genetic testing can help you to find out if you may be prone to developing a form of cancer.

Genetic Testing is Vital for Your Health

Cancer of any form is caused by a change or a mutation in the genes in the body. Your genes usually tell your cells to repair damages in your body and help you to stay healthy. However, genes can go haywire and cause uncontrolled cell growth. The result is cancer.

In some cases, individuals are born with a gene that has already mutated. This gene can be inherited from either the father, the mother or both. It can be hereditary, passed down from generation to generation.

Look back in your family history. If you can trace a particular form of cancer back through the years, there is a good chance that the problem has been inherited. Even if you appear to be in good health, testing can determine if you have inherited a gene that could lead to cancer in your life.

Get Tested to Have a Better Understanding of Your Health

If you have determined that cancer runs in your family, genetic testing may be beneficial. When it comes to hereditary forms of cancer, breast and ovarian cancer, referred to as HBOC, is one of the most common concerns.

Pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and forms of melanoma may be common as well. It is important to understand that men and women can be affected if a mutated gene has been inherited. The most common genes related to these forms of cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Genetic testing makes it possible to find changes in genes or other genes that are linked to hereditary forms of cancer, such as colon, stomach, or thyroid cancer.

Genetic Testing is Preventative

Finding out that you have a genetic mutation is not a death sentence. In fact, by doing so, you are taking charge of your health.

At Associates in Women’s Health, we closely monitor the health of women, ensuring they have a beneficial lifestyle. For more information about testing, contact us to schedule a consultation. Knowledge can be a power to help you protect yourself and live a longer life.

Author
Associates in Women's Health

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