Genetic Testing and Counseling for Cancer: What We Test For

Genetic counseling and testing are sensible, accessible ways to evaluate future risks and medical needs if you have a history of cancer in your family. Genetic counseling can help you to make educated decisions regarding genetic testing. Genetic testing looks for DNA changes that can influence your medical care needs. 

Genetic counseling provides information regarding how genetic changes or hereditary conditions might affect you or your family members. A health care professional will collect your family’s and your medical history. Then they will determine the probability that you or a family member will inherit a genetic condition.

Genetic testing checks for mutations in your DNA. The results can be used in many medical specialties to determine any likely need for future medical care for you or members of your family. Because we share DNA with family members, genetic abnormalities found with testing may also be abnormal in other family members.

Types of genetic testing include single-gene testing, panel testing, and large-scale genetic or genomic testing. Gene expression tests can compare expression levels between diseased and normal cells. Knowing the difference can clarify how to treat a disease. Some testing looks for chromosome changes instead of gene changes. 

There are many benefits to genetic counseling and testing. It can diagnose conditions such as Fragile X and can determine your risk for cancers associated with particular genetic markers and lineages. You can learn if a previously unrecognized condition runs in your family before symptoms develop. Testing can determine the probability of a pregnancy having genetic complications. It can also guide your plans for medical condition prevention or treatment. Genetic testing can give the vital information you need to make choices about personal health risks and care options.

Since genetic information has implications for other family members, confidentiality is maintained to protect the privacy of your medical choices and give you security when deciding who else to inform. The interpretation of findings from testing requires specialized skills and attention. It is most appropriate when the outcome of testing will have a meaningful impact on patient care. Therefore, medical professionals will not encourage testing unless there is therapy available to prevent or help the conditions being tested for. Counseling is necessary regardless of whether the test will help predict the future of health risks, diagnose a current health condition, or provide information for coping with a disease.

Nevada Surgery and Cancer Centers offer genetic counseling and testing for people with inherited risks of developing cancer. We test for and advise on Lynch syndrome, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, colorectal cancer, and many more gene-based conditions and concerns. We offer genetic testing for breast cancer, including detection of the BRCA mutation. 

With our testing, NVSCC will discover the risk of you developing hereditary cancers. Services are open to men and women to help you comprehend your cancer risks. The medical professionals in our offices help patients to process their results. Our goal is to have patients leave our offices with a thorough understanding of their cancer risks. We also provide a future care plan for our patients after they receive their results. 

Take the first step in defining your future health by calling NVSCC and scheduling a genetic counseling appointment today.