Genetic Testing for Cancer: Are You at Risk for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes? Sponsored Content
Genetic Testing for Cancer: Are You at Risk for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes?

Has more than one member of your family developed cancer?

Does cancer seem to "run in the family?"

While this can be a result of common cancer risk factors such as obesity or smoking, it may also be because family members share a genetic risk.

Hereditary cancer occurs when a gene that normally helps to prevent cancer is mutated or altered. People with hereditary cancers are more likely to have relatives with the same type or a related type of cancer. They frequently develop cancer at an earlier age than the average, and may develop more than one cancer in their lifetime.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be at risk for hereditary cancer, genetic testing may be a helpful option. Testing is not necessary for everyone, but you may be a candidate if you:

  • Have a family history of cancer
  • Belong to an at-risk population
  • Have a personal history of cancer

Benefits of Getting Tested for Hereditary Cancer

There are many good reasons for getting tested for hereditary cancer syndromes, whether or not the results show you are at risk. If you have a family member who had cancer, even a cousin or other third-degree relative, there is a chance that a gene mutation may be present in your family. If so, this may not only increase your personal risk, it means the risk could be passed along to the next generation.

Because someone who carries a gene mutation associated with hereditary cancer may get cancer much earlier in their life than someone in the general population, the earlier testing can take place, the easier it is to manage the risk. Click here to take a self assessment quiz.

How Genetic Testing Works

A genetic test requres a sample of your DNA, which is present in the cells that make up your body. Your doctor will take a small blood sample from you, or will ask you to use a special mouth wash to collect a sample of saliva. The sample is sent to a lab where they are able to isolate the DNA and test for alterations within specific genes. For more information about the genetic testing process, click here.

Screening Offered at AP Health Family Practice in Clifton, NJ

Your personal healthcare provider is your best resource for information and advice about screening for hereditary cancer. He or she can help you decide if you might benefit from the test. In northern New Jersey, this screening is offered at AP Health Family Practice, 1135 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, New Jersey. Click here to make an appointment. 

For more information about hereditary cancer risk assessment and testing, click here.

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