Genetics is an aspect of science that is concerned with the process through which traits are passed down from parents to children through their genes. Genes are DNA strands in the cells and they send information across to the cell on how to make proteins needed by the body to function.
Changes in these genes, known as mutations, play a vital role in cancer development. Mutations can make a cell produce proteins that affect its growth and how it divides into new cells. Certain mutations can make cells grow out of control, thereby leading to cancer. It is however important to note that just 5 to 10% of cancer cases are thought to relate to inherited gene mutations.
GENETIC DNA CANCER SCREEN TEST THAT MAY BE COVERED BY MEDICARE PART B
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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. CGx Test will help in estimating an individual’s chance of developing cancer in life. This kind of testing is done by searching the genes and chromosomes for some specific changes or mutations. Types of personal or family history of cancer that may qualify for comprehensive testing.
- Breast cancer
CGx Testing May Help
- Predict your risk of developing a disease
- Detect if you have genes that are likely to transfer a higher cancer risk to your offspring
- Provide you with information to guide your healthcare
It is important to note that no CGx test will provide information as to whether one will develop the disease. However, it will help one understand if one has a higher risk of developing the disease than most people. Only a few individuals with gene mutations will come up with cancer. What this implies is that a woman with about 50% chance of developing breast cancer may not come up with the disease eventually. While a woman with just 25% of developing the type of cancer may have it, eventually.
Hereditary Cancer: Risk Factors
Hereditary cancers are caused by inherited gene mutations. The following factors imply that there is a high risk of having hereditary cancer.
- Cancer at Early Age: When you have 2 or more relatives diagnosed with cancer at an early age.
- Family History of Cancer: When you have 3 or more family members on a side with the same type of cancer
- Multiple Cancers: When a member of the family develops 2 or more different types of cancers
- Rare Cancer: When a member of the family develops a rare form of cancer such as sarcoma, ovarian cancer, and adrenocortical cancer.
Why Consider CGx Test?
Every family has their reason for considering CGx test. It is a complex decision that is best made after a meeting between members of the family and a health counselor. Genetic counselors are well trained in the field and they are in the best position to offer the best advice on whether one should consider taking a genetic test. If one eventually takes the test, a counselor can also help interpret the results. It is important to note that CGx Test results will offer a limited answer on an increased risk of developing some certain cancers. They can’t tell if one will develop the disease or not, and this is what makes it important to go for counseling.
Other things to Consider
- Family Members: CGx Test results will not only affect you but will also affect other members of your family that share the same genes with you. Not everyone would be willing to know if they are prone to developing the disease. Having the knowledge that you or any other family member might develop the disease might be upsetting.
Parents can also have a feeling of guilt for passing faulty genes to their children.
- The Test Can Lead to Many More Tests: It is important to note that in some cases, there will be a need to carry out more tests, screenings and cancer procedures after the CGx Test. This can be beneficial if the other tests save you from developing cancer, or if the cancer is detected early, then there is the possibility of treating it quickly.
But these tests can also have their downsides, such as the cost involved and also the risks of the tests. More anxiety and stress can also arise from these tests.
- Costs: CGx Test can be so expensive that they sometimes run into thousands of dollars. Be certain that you have the idea of how much it will cost before going for the test.
- Privacy: Some people have the fear that insurance companies and employers may get hold of information on their medical records and then use it against them. Employment decisions and discriminations as a result of genetic information are barred at the national level for many employers.
How is CGx Test done?
Depending on the kind of test to be carried out, a sample of your skin, blood or tissue will be taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Home DNA Testing
It is advised that one threads with caution when buying a service that tests one’s DNA and have the results mailed to you. The US FDA cautions the general public that direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests are likely to provide misleading and incorrect information. It is best to talk to a medical health expert or a genetic counselor before making use of results from these sources. A genetic counselor will give you the required information and advice about the benefits and risks of CGx Test. Also, they will help you through the testing process.
CGx Test Results
The time that will be needed for the result to be released will depend on the type of test carried out as well as the healthcare facility where the result was done. Your doctor will be in the best position to offer you advice in this aspect