Predictive genetic test for cancer risk genes
Cancer is not usually inherited, but some types mainly breast, ovarian, colorectaland prostate cancer can be strongly influenced by genes and can run in families.
We all carry certain genes that are normally protective against cancer they correct any DNA damage that naturally occurs when cells divide.
Inheritingfaulty versions or "variants" of these genes significantly raises your risk of developing cancer, because the altered genes cannot repair the damaged cells, which can build up and form a tumour.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two examples of genes that raise your cancer risk if they become altered. Having a variant BRCA genegreatly increases a woman's chance of developing Breast cancer and ovarian cancer .This was the reason Angelina Jolie hadpreventative breast cancer surgery ,followed by ovarian cancer surgery. They also increase a man's chance ofdeveloping male breast cancer and prostate cancer .
BRCA genes are not the only cancer risk genes. Researchers recently identified more than 100 new gene variants associated with an increased risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. Individually, these new gene variants only slightly increase the risk of cancer, but acombination could mean a high risk overall.
If you or your partner have a high-risk cancer gene, such as analtered version ofBRCA1, it can be passed on to any children you have.
If you're concerned, read on. This page covers:
What to do if you're worried
Pros and cons of having a predictive genetic test
What testing involves
What a positive result means
Managing your risk
Planning a family
Paying for private testing
Cancer is not usually inherited, but some types mainly breast, ovarian, colorectal and prostate cancer can be strongly influenced by genes and can run in families.
Speak to your GP if cancer runs in your family and you're worried you may get it too.Theymay refer you to alocal geneticsservice foran NHSgenetictest, which will tell you if you have inheritedone of t
Not everyone who is eligible for the NHS test will want to have it. It's a personal decision, and should only be made after you've had genetic counselling sessions and talkedthrough what having the t
There are usually two steps to genetic testing: Arelative with cancer has a diagnostic blood test to see if they have a cancer risk gene (this normally must happen before any healthy relatives a
If your predictive genetic test result is positive, it means you have a faulty gene that raises your risk of developing cancer. It doesn'tmean you are guaranteed to get canceryour genes only partly i
If your test result is positive, you have arange of options to manage your risk. Risk-reducing surgery is not the only option. Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer about what you should do it
Your genetics unit will not approach your relatives about your result it will usually be up to you to tell your family. You may be given a standard letter to share with relatives, which explains your
Cancer risk genes can be passed on to any children you have. If your predictive genetic test is positive and you want to start a family, you have several options. You can: Have your children withou
If there isn't a strong family history of cancer in your family and the faulty gene hasn't otherwise been identified in any of your relatives, you won't be eligible for the NHS genetic test. You'll h