An entire family could share the risk of being born with a mutation that could lead to developing cancer.  Hereditary cancer syndromes are caused by mutations (changes) in certain genes passed from parents to children. Through hereditary cancer screening, patients can quantify their individual risk and set up a preventative treatment plan. 

A doctor sorting DNA samples

How Does Genetic Cancer Testing Work?

Several cancers have been linked to genetic mutations. Hereditary cancer testing will identify these known mutations within individuals. Like many genetic tests, a sample is collected from the patient via an oral swab and then sent to a lab. At TruGenX we provide test kits and detailed reports to medical facilities throughout the country. Offices can order hereditary cancer screening kits through the website at trugenx.com.

Factors to Consider

Genetic testing for hereditary cancer can quantify potential risks for developing a specific type of cancer. However, it is important to note that although these numbers may be an indicator of cancer, they do not definitely predict whether or not a patient will develop cancer in their lifetime. You should consider testing if your family has a history with specific types of cancer and you are concerned that there may be a genetic link. This information can help patients become aware of potential signs of a specific type of cancer. Catching cancer early has a large impact on treatment, which is why understanding potential risks is important. 

Types of Cancer That Can Be Screened for

  • Ovarian: Ovarian cancer is a rare cancer among the general population, however, there are increased risks if you have a family history of ovarian cancer.
  • Endometrial: Endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer, is also genetically linked to specific genetic mutations.
  • Breast: Breast cancer is a more common cancer, knowing if you are at a higher risk can lead to stronger preventative measures including increasing the frequency of self-exams and mammograms.
  • Colorectal: Colorectal cancer has a very high hereditary risk, meaning if you have family members that have colorectal cancer, you have an increased likelihood of developing it in your lifetime. Colonoscopies can help monitor potential risks.
  • Pancreatic: If a patient knows about potential hereditary risks linked to pancreatic cancer, they may consider annual screenings including MRCP screenings.
  • Melanoma: If it is discovered that a patient has a hereditary risk of melanoma, or skin cancer, there is a chance that patient could be enrolled in MRCP screenings.
  • Gastric: Patients at risk for gastric cancer may receive early treatment as well as frequent screenings and potentially a gastrectomy.
  • Prostate: Patients that are at a high risk of prostate cancer can receive annual screenings to help monitor risks.

When to consider genetic cancer testing:

Family History

If multiple members of a family (two or more) have developed the same type of cancer or similar cancers, this could be a sign of increased risk due to genetics.

Multiple Cancers

If a relative has two different types of cancer, it could indicate the presence of mutated genes that are linked to hereditary cancers.

Cancer At An Early Age

When two or more relatives have experienced cancer before 50 years old, it could be a sign of shared genetic predisposition to different types of cancer.

Rare Cancers

Some cancers like ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer or male breast cancer are rare and are linked to inherited genetic mutations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Genetic cancer testing requires a saliva sample or other genetic sample. Once the sample is collected it is sent to a lab where the data is processed. The sample is tested for specific genetic markers that are linked to hereditary cancer. 

There are a variety of reasons to be tested for hereditary cancer risk. If you have a family history of cancer, if a specific type of cancer is common among multiple members of your family, or if members of your family have experienced rare cancers like ovarian cancer, you may consider getting genetic testing done. Genetic testing can help patients understand potential risks and be more aware of the need for regular screenings. 

There are a variety of cancers that have been linked to genetic mutations which are passed from family member to family member. They include prostate cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer, and colorectal cancer. 

Order genetic cancer testing from TruGenX

TruGenX offers molecular testing to physicians nationwide. For hereditary cancer screening kits please contact TruGenX or use our online ordering feature.