How Reliable Are the Genetic Tests for Cancer Screening?
Genetic testing for Cancer helps people assess their chances of developing cancer in their lifetime. The test does this by searching for particular changes in one’s genes, proteins, and chromosomes. The changes are called mutations in medical terms. The tests cannot determine whether you are likely to develop cancer in the future, but they can tell if you are more prone to cancer risk than others.
Only a few individuals with gene mutation develop cancer in their lifetime, and more surprisingly, the chances of cancer are not dependent on the mutation percentage. For example, a person with a 50% to 60% chance of stomach cancer but s/he may never develop the disease; meanwhile, a person with only 20% can grow cancer with time. The blog will discuss some significant aspects associated with Genetic Cancer Screening.
Genetic tests available for the following types of cancer are:
1. Breast Cancer
2. Prostate Cancer
3. Colon Cancer
4. Ovarian Cancer
5. Stomach Cancer
6. Kidney Cancer
7. Thyroid Cancer
8. Pancreatic Cancer
The Benefits of Genetic Testing for Cancer:
1. Estimate one’s risk of cancer at a particular place.
2. Find out if one carries genes that might pass cancerous risk factors to the next generation of kids.
3. Offer one a complete healthcare guide
Risk Factors Associated with Genetic Cancer:
Hereditary or Genetic cancer is one cancer caused by an inherited gene mutation. An inherited mutated gene passes to the child from parents. The major factors that indicate the possible most risk of hereditary cancer are:
1. Family History of Cancer
If three or more relatives have cancer from the same side of the family with the same or related forms of cancers, there lies the risk of the next generation inheriting the disease from its predecessors. For example, more than 3-4 members in a family have had breast cancer; therefore, it becomes quite essential for the next generation of female kids to run breast cancer genetic testing at their early ages only and continue frequent screening processes.
2. Multiple Cancers
If one of the parents or a relative has two or more types of cancer, the possibility of mutation increases.
3. Rare Cancer
Rare cancers like ovarian cancer, sarcoma, or adrenocortical cancers are directly associated with inherited genetic mutations.
4. Cancer at an Early Age
If two or more relatives have developed the disease at an early age, there is a high chance of developing cancerous cells in one’s body. The risk factors might differ based on the types of mutation.
Limitations and Emotional Effects, Genetic Screening can have, are
1. Anxiety & depression
2. Collective tension
3. Superficial sense of security
4. Unclear outcome
5. Privacy concerns
How trustworthy is Genetic Cancer Screening?
Hereditary Genetic testing is a personal decision. However, In complex cases, one’s family, doctor, or genetic counselor can make the decision. According to ASCO recommendations, genetic testing shows the following results:
1. A specific genetic change
2. Help diagnose or manage a critical condition.
For example, the test will help one reduce the chances of risk. The steps might include frequent screening, medication, lifestyle changes, or surgeries.
The information provided above on ensuring the genetic testing of potentially cancerous cells is not 100% reliable on the common ground, but one must undergo the screening processes if required.