Regular screenings are designed to find cancer early. Get your doctor looking for it, instead of just finding it.
What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing helps estimate your chance of developing cancer in your lifetime. It does this by searching for specific changes in your genes, chromosomes, or proteins (called mutations). It will only be able to tell you if you have a higher risk than most people not if you will develop it for sure.
Your Genetic Screening Options
About 5% to 10% of all cancers are thought to be related to genetic mutations or passed down through the family. Having these mutations do not mean you will get cancer; it means you are at a higher risk for developing a certain type of cancer.
There are tests looking for these mutation. This type of testing is called predictive genetic testing. Most people do not need this type of genetic testing and is usually recommended when certain types of cancer run in a family and a gene mutation is suspected.
Ask your doctor about getting tested and a referral to a genetic counselor. You can also find a list of certified genetic counselors on the websites of the National Society of Genetic Counselors or the National Cancer Institute.
What to Expect?