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How do Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Work?

Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer

For people who don’t know, yes there is a thing called Genetic Testing for hereditary cancers and they do get passed down from generation to generation. You might have seen or experienced cases. Where one side of the family is more prone to a particular health risk. Genes might be the cause of it. And similarly, cancers passing down from parent to their child is not a recent discovery.

If one side of the family has multiple people affected by cancer. Then there are 50 % chances they will pass it down to their offspring. Why 50 %? Because we receive half of the DNA from the biological mother and half from the biological father.

Genetic Testing

Some of the signs that might indicate hereditary cancer are as follows:

  • Cancer diagnosed under the age of 50.
  • Multiple family members of the same side were affected by cancer.
  • If there are reproductive organ-related cancer like ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, or breast cancer.
  • Multiple generations with cancer are on the same side of the family.

Also, the inheritance of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer is not related to gender. How?

Genetic Testing

Let’s say your paternal grandmother had a variant of breast cancer but your father only had brothers and no sisters. So the risk of your father and uncles developing breast cancer was low. But if your father carries that variant and it never developed into breast cancer it might go undetected. And since you carry 50% of your father’s DNA there are chances that you might develop breast cancer due to that variant.

So it is really important to know your family’s genes-related health history and DNA testing can help you get all the information you need to take preventive steps in advance and family planning.