Cancers may be caused by changes in gene of an individual and often these changes are inherited
Several environmental issues are responsible for mutations in genes resulting in cancer but at least 8-10% of all cancer cases are hereditary.
These traits become more powerful and may strike earlier in life in successive generations.
The early identification of significant variants in cancer predisposition genes is a fundamental step in the diagnosis, management and treatment of individuals and families having hereditary cancer syndromes.
Detection of cancer in early stages helps in quick and sure cure.
Knowledge of an inherited predisposition to cancer helps you work in accordance with your healthcare provider to prepare a plan that is personalized for you. The plan is such designed that cancer can be detected early and at a more treatable stage, or even may be prevented.
A global health burden that has touched every region and socioeconomic group around the world – that’s cancer for you. It can never be too far, and can affect anyone’s live, anytime, anywhere. It is best to be prepared beforehand so that it cannot catch you unaware.
RISK PATTERN OF DIFFERENT CANCER TYPES
The chance of acquiring hereditary cancer may vary between different organs of the body.It may range between 4-20%. In average 8-10% of all cancer cases are hereditary.
MUTATION CAUSES CANCER AND IT MAY START RUNNING IN FAMILY
Yes, it is possible to have a family history of cancer. This is because cancer is not only caused by carcinogens or lifestyle changes. Mutations or alterations in the gene also cause cancer. These mutations are hereditary and the faulty genes that contain them, increase the risk of many family members developing the disease.
IMPACT OF HEREDITARY CANCER ON INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY
Not only does cancer affect the person it resides in, but also families. Those affected by it are devastated emotionally and financially, apart from the physical pain the cancer patient goes through. And if a harmful genetic mutation is present in one family member, it is likely that other biological relatives may also carry that mutation.
PREDICTED RISK IS NOT A CONFIRMATION OF CANCER
A cancer-predisposing mutation may be present in the family. But it does not necessarily mean that cancer will affect everyone who inherits the mutation. The aim is to ease uncertainty that will help you take better decisions regarding your health.
EARLY DETECTION INCREASES CHANCES OF SURVIVAL
Cancer is a disease that is too complex and quick to outsmart therapies. But early detection can save lives. This is before cancer would have had the chance to spread or get too big. This makes it more likely to be treated successfully. After intense medical researches and trials, this has been statistically proven. For example, for people with stage I colon cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 92%, whereas stage IV cancer victims have a survival rate of 11%.
BENEFITS OF GENOMIC TESTING
With genomic testing, specific inherited changes or mutations can be looked for in your chromosomes. DNA sequencing tests are lab tests that can “read” DNA. Though genomic testing will not tell you whether you will develop cancer for sure or not, it can certainly let you know if you are at higher risk than others.
Meet with a genetic counsellor to discuss the way forward if you are at genetic risk for cancer. They will provide you with information and support so that you can identify and manage such risk. A genetic counsellor works with you and your doctor to co-ordinate genetic testing and explain the results.
WHO SHOULD GET TESTED
You should get tested for inherited cancer if:
WHAT IF ONE IS TESTED POSITIVE?
Once you test positive for an abnormal gene, you know you are at a risk of developing cancer over the course of your lifetime, that is much higher than average.
As soon as the risk is identified, you can start taking steps to prevent the cancer. This means from the very beginning you will be under proper surveillance and treatment, wherever needed. The possibility of cancer being removed successfully is increased manifold, and the cost of treatment comes down significantly.
We prefer a non-invasive sampling approach. Just two ml of your saliva deposited in a specialized collector at the ease of your home will do.
Our state of the art labs decode your personal genome and compares with the standard to look the variations.
All variations may not relate to a disease.Pathogenic variations are meticulously identified by our team of scientists.
All technical jargons simplified into an easy to understand report.
Our friendly genetic counsellor explains the report to you and answers your doubts if any
If any risk is identified, you may talk to a physician to work out a health plan of suitable alteration of a lifestyle, regular screening program and others.
Remember, awareness to a disease susceptibility is the first step to prevent or manage it.