What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing analyzes cells or tissues to look for genetic changes that may be a sign of a disease or condition, such as cancer. These changes may signify an increased risk of developing a specific disease or condition, and if there is the possibility your children may have inherited the potential risk.
What Does Genetic Testing Do?
There are many different types of genetic tests. Genetic tests can help:
- guide physicians to recommend treatment that would be more specifically tailored to your needs.
- obtain knowledge that may convince family members to obtain testing that could lead to an earlier diagnosis of cancer.
- identify genes that could be passed on to children.
Is Genetic Testing Right for Me?
For most people, there is no indication genetic testing is necessary. At your first consultation with your cancer specialist, they will often ask you questions about your family history and determine if referral to a genetic counselor is needed. The decision to have genetic testing can be complex. Genetic counselors are medical professionals that can help guide your decision to be tested, and help explain results to you and your family members.