This testing is now affordable and typically covered by insurance.
This can save you and your family members lives.
After an individual has been identified as having a genetic mutation that could increase the risk for hereditary cancer it is important for family members to also have cancer genetic testing. This is called Cascade Testing.
The term cascade testing is testing of individual family members after a family member has been identified as being at high risk or having a genetic mutation. This will continue to identify other family members that can also be at risk for hereditary cancer.
Cascade testing begins when a person is diagnosed with a hereditary cancer gene mutation. Through a careful family history, closest relatives are first identified for genetic testing. Testing, through analysis of a blood or saliva sample, can reveal if the individual carries a known predisposition genetic mutation.
Testing then proceeds with close relatives such as parents and children and then extends to extended family such as aunts, uncles and cousins in a stepwise, cascade fashion to determine if they do or do not carry an inherited cancer-risk mutation.
Cascade testing is an essential and efficient way to determine if other family members are also at risk for hereditary cancer. Once individuals are identified a personalized cancer prevention plan can be made to help prevent or early detect cancer.
If a family member has tested positive for a cancer genetic mutation and you are making an appointment for cancer genetic testing it is important to bring a copy of your family members test results or a letter stating the specific genetic mutation. This will help the clinician determine appropriate testing.
Cascade testing can save lives and improve overall quality of life, as it allows clinicians to form a plan based on whether or not someone is known to carry risk for inherited cancer.