Genetics is the field of science that examines how certain traits such as eye colour are passed down from parents to children via genes. Genes are parts of DNA that are located inside of our cells, and they “tell” the cell how to produce the proteins the body needs to function. Genes affect the inherited traits that are passed down from parents to children and can sometimes affect whether a person is likely to develop diseases such as dementia, skin disorders or cancer.
The truth is that every person runs the risk of developing cancer and most of the time it develops by chance or due to environmental factors. However, some people are genetically predisposed to developing cancer due to their genes.
Can I Test for Cancer Genes?
No, genetic test can’t predict whether you will develop cancer or not, but it can determine what your chance of developing cancer is.
If your test comes back positive, it means that the laboratory found a gene mutation that is associated with hereditary cancer syndrome. Here are a few facts that a positive result could reveal.
- It could confirm a diagnosis of hereditary cancer syndrome.
- It can indicate a higher risk of the future development of certain cancer(s).
- It could show a specific genetic change that does not put the individual at higher risk of developing cancer. However, if they have children with someone that has the same abnormal gene, their child could inherit a higher risk of developing cancer.
- It could suggest that there is a need for further testing and a possible change in lifestyle.
- It can also provide important information that can help other family members make decisions about their own healthcare.
- Lastly, if someone has tested positive for an increased risk of developing cancer, they can take steps to lower their risk of cancer development and can possibly detect cancer earlier, resulting in earlier treatment.
What is the Cost of Genetic Testing for Cancer?
The cost of genetic testing for cancer can vary according to the specific type of test requested. In South Africa a test can be anywhere between R1500 and R13 000.
To ensure that you get the full benefits of a genetic test, contact Geneway.