What is Genetic Cancer Screening?
Genetic cancer screening is a process of analyzing the patient’s DNA to determine whether they carry the hereditary changes in their genes that put them at a higher risk for cancer.
Who Should Have Genetic Cancer Screening?
There are several risk factors that may indicate you are a good candidate for genetic cancer screening. They are:
Multiple Family Members with the Same Type of Cancer
You should consider genetic screening if two or more close relatives on the same side of your family have been diagnosed with the same type of cancer. Additionally, you may want to have genetic screening if multiple family members have had bilateral or multiple primary tumors or ten or more colorectal polyps.
Relatives Diagnosed with Early Onset Cancer
If you have close family members who have been diagnosed with cancer before age 50, genetic cancer screening may be beneficial to you. This is especially true if they have been diagnosed with early onset breast, colon, or uterine cancer.
Family History of Certain Types of Cancer
Certain types of cancer represent a higher risk for being genetic regardless of how many of your relatives have been diagnosed or the age at which they were diagnosed. These include ovarian, pancreatic, male breast, metastatic prostate, and triple negative breast cancers.
Those with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and a family history of breast cancer are at a higher risk and should consider genetic cancer screening.
Patients Who Have a Previous Cancer Diagnosis
If you have had a previous cancer diagnosis, genetic screening may be helpful for your future care.
How Does Genetic Testing Work?
Genetic testing is a relatively simple process for the
patient. After the patient and their doctor have decided to move forward with
genetic cancer testing, a blood or saliva sample will be collected along with
personal and family medical histories. The blood or saliva sample will be sent
to a lab to be analyzed, which typically takes about two or three weeks. When
the results are in, the doctor will explain the findings, answer any questions, and
help guide the patient towards a health care plan that is
suitable for them.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’re interested in
pursuing genetic cancer screening,
schedule an appointment at Carnegie Women’s Health. Contact our New York City
offices by calling (315) 628-7063 or request your appointment