Hereditary Cancer Risk Management in East Bridgewater, MA
Inherited genetic alterations may be responsible for up to 10% of all cancers. Inheriting a cancer-related genetic alteration doesn’t mean that you will develop cancer. It signifies that your chances of acquiring cancer have become greater. Individuals with inherited mutations may have treatment alternatives to reduce their chance of cancer or identify it earlier. Our board-certified doctor, Dr. Akash Patel, MD, offers hereditary cancer risk management at Novacare Medical. For more information, please contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 401 N Bedford St, East Bridgewater, MA 02333.
Table of Contents:
What is genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk?
Is genetic testing for cancer worth it?
Who qualifies for genetic testing for cancer?
What types of cancers are hereditary?
Can I Afford Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk?
Genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk is a complex medical process that involves examining a person’s DNA to pinpoint any specific genetic mutations that could contribute to their risk of developing certain types of cancer. This type of testing is typically recommended for those who have a family history of cancer or who have been diagnosed with cancer in their younger years or at a young age.
During the testing process, a sample of DNA is taken, usually by a blood or saliva sample, and analyzed in a laboratory. The DNA is examined for specific genetic mutations that are known to be accompanied by an increased risk of also getting certain types of cancer. Depending on the test, the results can take several weeks to several months to be processed.
Once the results are available, a genetic counselor or doctor will go over the findings with the patient and discuss the implications of the results. Depending on the results, the patient may be asked to do additional cancer screenings or to take preventative measures, such as undergoing surgery to remove at-risk tissue.
The decision whether genetic testing for cancer is worth it or not depends on individual circumstances. It is not appropriate for everyone, and there are some potential risks and limitations to consider. That’s why it is imperative to talk with a doctor or genetic counselor to go over the benefits and potential risks of the process before deciding what to do.
Not everyone qualifies for genetic testing for cancer. However, individuals who have a strong family history of certain types of cancer, especially if the cancers occurred at a young age or if multiple family members were affected, may be candidates for genetic testing. Additionally, individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer themselves may also be candidates. The decision to get genetic testing should be made in unison with a healthcare provider or genetic counselor.
The Hereditary Cancer Risk Management Program allows your provider to better understand your cancer risk and develop a personalized cancer prevention care plan. If you have experienced a personal or family background of cancer, genetic testing for cancer risk can help us understand your risk. Your plan may include additional screening such as mammograms or the addition of breast MRIs to help find cancer at an earlier more treatable stage. Depending on your risk level, you may also have options such as medication or surgery to reduce your risk. If you have a family history or have been through cancer, contact us to take our risk assessment. If you are a candidate for testing, someone from the office will reach out to you to set up an appointment but feel free to contact us as well.
Several types of cancer can be hereditary, meaning that they happen because of genetic mutations that are passed through families from other generations. Some of the more well-known hereditary cancers include breast, ovarian, prostate, skin, colorectal, uterine, renal, gastric, lung, endocrine, and pancreatic cancer. However, it’s important to remember that not all of these types of cancer are hereditary, and not all hereditary cancers are limited to these types. That’s why it’s important to speak with a doctor or genetic counselor to determine if genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk is appropriate.
If you’re considering getting genetic testing for cancer risk, you may be wondering about the cost. The price of genetic testing can vary depending on your geographical location, the type of tests needed, and whether your insurance will cover it or not. Most patients pay $0 for genetic testing due to having great insurance coverage. Those who do not have insurance or are underinsured have available options with Myriad’s Financial Assistance Program, which can include reduced or zero out-of-pocket payments based on income and household size. It’s important to speak with your doctor and insurance company to figure out what your options are and the potential costs that will be on your end.
Our experienced team at Novacare Medical assists in identifying and supporting individuals with inherited cancer syndromes, as well as providing individualized cancer risk management suggestions. For more information, please contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 401 N Bedford St, East Bridgewater, MA 02333. We serve patients from East Bridgewater MA, West Bridgewater MA, Easton MA, Abington MA, Brockton MA, Taunton MA, Raynham MA, and surrounding areas.
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