Hereditary Cancer Testing
Most cancer occurs in people who do not have a history of cancer in their family. This is often called “sporadic cancer”. When cancer is more prevalent in families compared to the general population it is often called “familial” or “hereditary cancer”. Hereditary cancer occurs when an individual inherits specific gene mutations. These genetic mutations increase the risk of developing cancer and the cancer that develops is often more aggressive than non-hereditary cancers.
About 1 in 6 men with prostate cancer inherited a genetic mutation that may have caused his cancer. Men with a history of cancer in their family, including breast, ovarian, prostate, or other cancers should consider hereditary cancer genetic testing. The information received from these tests can impact their immediate prostate cancer treatment decisions. Genetic testing can also help family members know if they should be tested or take preventive measures to avoid developing cancer.
You should consider hereditary cancer genetic testing if:
1. You have been diagnosed with prostate cancer
2. You have been treated for prostate cancer
3. You have a family member who has been diagnosed with either of these cancers:
* prostate * endometrial
* breast * pancreatic
* ovarian * melanoma
* colorectal * gastric
Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness Testing
All prostate cancer does not behave the same which can make deciding on a treatment plan difficult. Genetic prostate cancer tests observe the biopsy cancer tissue on a molecular level to answer patients’ most pressing questions:
1. How aggressive is my disease?
2. Is my disease going to spread?
3. Will I die from my disease?
These tests measure how fast or slow the cancer is growing to help provide answers to these questions. This information can help men and their doctors feel more confident in their treatment decisions. To find out if a prostate cancer genetic test could benefit you or a loved one, download the screening tool and take it with you to your next appointment with your physician.
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