Goals of Genetic Testing
The goals of genetic testing are to:
- Provide valuable information for use in customizing medical management plans
- Determine whether you have a genetic mutation known to increase your risk for certain inherited cancers
- Help your healthcare professional make a timely and accurate diagnosis
- Enable your healthcare professional to better predict disease aggressiveness to assist in making more informed treatment decisions
- Assist your healthcare professional in making important decisions about the management of your disease.
Who Needs Genetic Testing?
- If you have had cancer at a young age, a rare cancer or if cancer occurs frequently in your family, genetic testing may be an important first step for you. If a greater than average risk of cancer is found, there are a number of things you and your healthcare professional can do to manage that risk *:
- You might be advised to have more frequent monitoring to help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage and improve cancer survival.
- Your healthcare professional may recommend preventive strategies, including risk-reducing medications or surgeries, that may reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- You and your healthcare professional can make more informed decisions on your treatment options.
- Test results can help your relatives learn more about the inherited risk and how it may affect them.
- In addition, family members who do not carry mutations that increase their cancer risk may avoid unnecessary medical interventions.
Am I a Candidate for Genetic Testing?
To help you assess whether you may benefit from hereditary cancer testing, take the Hereditary Cancer Quiz below. This simple, 30-second quiz can help you get the information you need to discuss your risk of cancer with your healthcare professional and ask for further evaluation.
* Any discussion of medical management options is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation. While genetic testing and medical society guidelines provide important and useful information, all medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and her healthcare professional.