CGx is the short term for Cancer Genomics and it is a test carried out to determine if an individual is at risk for hereditary cancer.
Abnormalities in genes that trigger the development of different types of cancer have been revealed by the study of cancer genomes. With this knowledge, the understanding of the biology of cancer has improved over the years and this has led to the development of new methods to diagnose and treat the disease.
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With the use of Hereditary Cancer Marker Screening, it can be detected in persons carrying genes known to be associated with certain types of cancer.
Molecular testing will look out for certain mutations in an individual’s genetic make-up. Harmful mutations tend to increase a patient’s risk of developing cancer, while inherited mutations are believed to play a vital role in 10% of most cancer cases. It is therefore important that appropriate CGx testing be done to determine when an individual is predisposed to cancer.
Before CGx testing is done, it is most of the time recommended that patients seek counseling to determine if certain types of cancer have been experienced in their family.
CGX testing is more informative if it begins in a family member who has had a current or previous diagnosis than in a member who has never suffered from cancer.
If a member of the family has been detected to have an inherited cancer susceptibility syndrome, it is important that any member of the family that could have inherited the variant consider CGx testing, even if they have not developed the disease. Understanding the risks will help to prevent a future occurrence of the disease.
It is recommended that before a CGx testing is carried out, genetic counseling should be done first and also after the test. This is necessary especially if the result is positive and the fact that such individual needs to understand hereditary cancer pre-disposition.
This testing is carried out by a professional genetic counselor or any other health care expert who has experience in cancer genetics.
Genetic counseling will normally cover so many aspects of this testing process, which will include:
Genetic counseling will also involve discussions on the recommendation for screening and preventive care for the patient, referral to information centers and other support groups as well as providing for the patient’s emotional support.
CGx testing will help the patient in determining if they are at risk of having hereditary cancer. When a CGx test is done on a patient, this will guide medical doctors to take preventative measures, which will lead to quick detection as well as treatment of the condition.
If you or any member of your family has a history of any of the following, then you might want to consider having a CGx test done:
CGx testing has some limitations and other emotional implications, which may include:
Depression, guilt or anxiety: When the result is positive, it means there is a gene mutation. This result may likely cause an emotion outburst in the family. Some individuals may start thinking of themselves as being sick, even if cancer has not developed in such individuals. Also, negative emotions may develop. For instance, it is likely that some people experience guilt if the mutation gene is not present in their DNA, while another member of the family has it.
Cost: CGx testing can be quite expensive and particularly costly if it is not covered by health insurance.
Family Tension: People are encouraged to inform other family members about their results as the information can be important to other members of the family. But this same information could complicate family dynamics.
Genetically, some individuals are predisposed to developing certain types of cancers, so cancer genomics will help in uncovering these risks.
CGx tests are requested by the patient’s genetic counselor, doctor or any other health care provider who has assessed the patient’s health and family history.
Once the patient’s DNA sample has been received and a thorough test has been carried out, the result is then compiled into a well-understood format providing the information the patient needs to know.
CGx tests can give many possible results: negative, positive, uninformative negative, true negative, benign variant.
Medical test results are usually included in a patient’s medical records, especially if it was ordered by a doctor. So, it is important that people considering a CGx test understand that the results may be assessable by other organizations that have legitimate and legal access to check their medical records. This may include one’s employer or one’s insurance company.
Irrespective of whether the test result is negative or positive, there can be a whole lot of benefits to carrying out a CGx test:
A “positive test result” indicated the laboratory found a specific genetic alternation (or mutation) associated with a hereditary cancer syndrome. Positive test results may: