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What Does A Positive Cancer Genetic Testing Means For Your Health

posted on 9/26/2016 Facebook Facebook

Genetictesting is the new generation health checkup which screens an individual forseveral diseases depending on his or her genetic profile. The test is based ona simple yet very important premise that the diseases that afflict us arenothing but a product of our genes and the environment we live in. Genetictesting screens for several hereditary cancers as well as the one related tocellular damage. A family history of cancer greatly increases the risk ofdeveloping cancer; however, this risk can be mitigated if appropriate steps aretaken in time.

Resultsobtained from these tests can help your doctor suggest appropriate action plannot just for prevention but also early detection (increased risk). The reportsalso highlight the symptoms one needs to be watchful about, as well as thevarious tests one can undertake to assist an early diagnosis. In case a personis already suffering from cancer, pharmacogenomics testing can help to draw outan individualized treatment plan to treat the cancer effectively and withreduced costs.

The testresults can either be indicated as:

·      Positive:Variations in genes that increase your risk of cancer

·       Negative: No significant change in the genesassociated with a higher cancer risk

·       VUS (Variant of unknown significance):Inconclusive data wherein the clinical significance of certain genes is notknown

·      Highlightingyour risk of a specific cancer against the population risk

A positiveresult does not mean that you have cancer or will definitely get cancer in thefuture. However what is does mean is that:

·      Youhave an increased risk of developing a certain cancer in the future

·      Agenetic variation may not significantly impact your cancer risk although, itcould increase the risk of your children if they were to inherit a copy of theaffected genes from you

·      Aprevention plan based on lifestyle modifications needs to be undertaken to curbany identifiable risk

·      Itwould be a good idea for your other family members to obtain genetic testing

A positivetest result is merely a wakeup call for you and is nothing to be scared about. Apositive result can lead to early detection and treatment. While your genesmaybe pointing to a future diagnosis of cancer, you take make this offendertake a detour by assimilating some basic lifestyle changes. These include:

·      Healthydietary habits, particularly loading up on foods that have natural chemoprotective compounds

·      Addingexercise can decrease your risk of about 13 major cancers by about 30%

Geneticcounseling is offered for those undergoing the test. The genetic counselors notonly explain the report but also help you get on the bandwagon of the recommendedlifestyle modifications. 

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