Genetic Testing

Knowing more about your hereditary traits is the first step towards prevention.

Click below to take a Genetic History test at myGeneHistory.

What are Hereditary Cancers?

The most common cancers that are currently considered to be hereditary are breast, ovarian, colon, uterine, gastric, pancreatic, melanoma and prostate cancers.

If cancer runs in your family, a mutation may be to blame.

Individuals with a genetic mutation linked to these cancers are at a much higher risk of developing these diseases at an earlier age.

It is important to remember, if you do have a mutation, it doesn’t automatically mean you will get cancer. No matter what your risk level, there is always something you can do to be proactive and reduce your risk.

What does it mean to have a Familial Risk?

Healthcare providers look for patterns in your family health history that help tell if you’re at a higher risk for developing a hereditary cancer.

If cancer runs in your family, a mutation may be to blame. But some families have a significant cancer history, with no identifiable mutations.

Histories like these are called "familial",

with the cancer connection caused by things like environment, lifestyle, or even other gene mutations that simply haven’t been identified or studied yet.

Of note, the identification and study of new mutations is advancing at a rapid rate.

If family history is significant and a gene mutation is not identified, you may be placed in a care pathway for earlier and increased surveillance, based on family history.

 

Intro paragraph here that provides an overview of what genetic testing is and how patients benefit from it.

How do Hereditary and Familial Risks differ from Sporadic Cancers?

It is incredibly important to understand that most cancer isn’t actually the result of an inherited mutation.

In fact, only about 10% of cancer is hereditary and another 15% is familial.

The majority of cancers are part of a group called “sporadic”.

Sporadic cancers occur by chance and may be tied to things like your lifestyle or the environment.

Most cancers are sporadic ( approximately 70% ) and occur in older individuals with little or no family history and no genetic risk.

Therefore it is important to follow screening guidelines for “average” risk:

  • Yearly mammography starting at age 40
  • Breast self-examination monthly
  • Annual clinical breast exam
  • Colon Cancer screening starting at age 50

What is a Genetic Test?

A genetic test uses your saliva or blood to look at your DNA. This can show if there are mutations or changes in a single gene or several genes that may place you and your family a greater risk for developing a disease, such as cancer.

What are Genes?

We inherit each of our genes directly from our parents-two copies of every gene, one that is passed from our mother and one that is passed from our father.

Most genes are exactly the same from person to person, but a small fraction (less than 1 percent) have slight differences.

Insurance Coverage for Genetic Testing

If you have had a hereditary cancer or are at risk, based on family history and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, you are very likely to qualify for genetic testing.

For qualified individuals, the following is in place:

  • As of January 2020, Medicare will cover it at 100%.
  • Medicaid will cover testing at 100%.
  • Commercial insurance will cover 4 out of 5 individuals with a zero out of pocket expense.
  • The patients with commercial insurance, who have an out-of-pocket expense, as a general rule, it is not more than $100 for the testing. Depending on the insurance, some patients even have a lower cost.