Genetic Testing And Counselling

Cells become cancer cells largely because of mutations in their genes. Most cancers are caused by gene changes that start in a single cell of the body that grows and reproduces uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs over the course of a person's life, causing most cancers.

Some types of cancer run in certain families, while most cancers are not clearly linked to the genes we inherit from our parents. There are two inherent types of gene mutations - acquired and inherited.

Genetic testing is the use of medical tests to look for certain mutations in a person’s genes. It helps in identifying or estimating the chance of developing cancer in your lifetime. It can be used in many ways to look for gene changes linked to cancer by searching for specific changes in your genes, chromosomes, or proteins.

Genetic testing and counselling may be recommended for people who have had certain cancers or certain patterns of cancer in their families. Genetic testing may help predict your risk of a particular disease as well as identify if you have genes that may pass increased cancer risk to your children.

  • Several first-degree relatives (mother, father, sisters, brothers, children) with cancer.
  • Many relatives on one side of the family who have had the same type of cancer.
  • A cluster of cancers in your family that are known to be linked to a single gene mutation ( such as breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers in your family).
  • A family member with more than 1 type of cancer.
  • Family members who had cancer at a younger age than normal for that type of cancer.
  • Close relatives with cancers that are linked to rare hereditary cancer syndromes.
  • A family member with a rare cancer, such as breast cancer in a male or retinoblastoma.
  • A physical finding that’s linked to an inherited cancer (such as having many colon polyps).
  • A known genetic mutation in one or more family members who have already had genetic testing.

Genetic tests are available for some types of cancer. These include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Changes to your body's normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can be an early indication of cancer.

Symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor include

  • A lump that suddenly appears on your body
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Changes to your bowel habits

In many cases, your symptoms will not be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions. Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.

For example

  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercises
  • Quitting smoking

The oncological team at Veritas Cancer Care is headed by Dr Venkat P, a highly-trained surgical oncologist and robotic surgeon. With over 22 years of experience, he has managed around 25,000 oncological cases and performed over 20,000 surgeries. He has a keen interest in genetic testing and screening amongst individuals. He has also adopted the latest molecular-based treatment for various types of cancers.

Prevention is better than cure. If you feel that you are at risk of cancer due to your genes and family history, please get yourself tested at the nearest facility.

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