Medical tests can detect myriads of inherited mutations in the gene. This kind of testing is what we call Predictive Genetic Testing or CGx Testing. This type of testing is not needed by most people, it is only done when certain types of cancer run in the family and mutation is suspected.
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This kind of test looks out for specific inherited variants in the individual’s genes. Genetic variants may either be beneficial, harmful, neutral or may have unknown effects on the risk of developing a disease. Harmful variants in the genes are linked with increased chances of developing certain types of cancer.
Who needs a CGx Test?
Benefits of CGx Test
Whether the results come out positive or even negative, CGx test has lots of potential benefits.
For instance, the doctor is likely to recommend that you run some other medical tests to search for cancer if you test positive for gene mutations.
What happens at the CGx Test Clinic?
At the clinic, you will either see a genetic counselor or a specialist who will:
The 1st appointment does not usually last more than an hour. In the meeting, the counselor will seek to know if any member of your family has developed cancer at any point in time.
It is necessary that you talk to your family members when looking into your family history, to know if any type of cancer has been reported in the family. This is usually a difficult time for most families. Talking about cancer and finding out about family history can be an emotional moment for family members.
Advantages of a CGx Test
If it is discovered that you have a faulty gene, some things can be done to reduce the risk of coming up with cancer. For instance, you might make some certain changes in your lifestyle. You can also have regular screening to detect the disease while still in its early stage.
For certain types of cancer, you might be able to resort to medications to reduce the risk of developing such cancer.
Lack of knowledge about you having a faulty gene might cause worry and stress; however, finding out about the result can help you and your family reduce such worry.
Disadvantages of a CGx Test
Some CGx Test results will identify the variation in the gene, but it may not be able to state out if one’s risk of developing the disease is increased and this can be a very difficult situation to cope with.
One will be worried all the time about developing cancer when one’s test detects a faulty gene. If the test comes out positive, one may also need to inform other relatives that might have inherited the gene.
Having the CGx Test
The CGx test looks at a DNA strand in the cell taken from one’s blood, skin, urine or tissue. This test usually comes at a higher cost, which can be covered by one’s insurance.
Types of CGx Tests
There are many types of CGx tests that seek to detect changes in the genes, chromosomes, and proteins in the body.
Molecular tests detect changes in the genes and it may be a test on a single gene or on multiple genes. This kind of test is also used in diagnosing family cancer syndromes.
This kind of test is more concerned about the structure and the number of enzymes and proteins in the cells.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) CGx test is a situation whereby a company markets the test directly to the individual that will be needing the test. In this kind of service, the individual requests and pays for the test them while a kit is mailed to them. The disadvantage of this kind of test is that you may not have access to a counselor.
There are still many researches that need to be done in this area to understand the drawbacks and benefits associated with DTC tests. However, if one wants to have one done, it is advisable that one looks out for a company that:
You should be able to obtain information from the company on how accurate the CGx test is and how perfect it predicts the risks of developing cancer. The company should also be able to provide information on how to manage the disease.
CGx Test Kit
CGx tests are mostly done in a genetic testing laboratory. Depending on the kind of test, a sample of one’s skin, blood, or any other tissue can be taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
The amount of time it will take to obtain a result will depend on the healthcare facility and the type of test carried out. It is better to discuss with your genetic counselor to know when the test result will be released to you.