NHCC – Genetic Testing
Who should get tested?
Genetic counseling may not be for everyone. In most cases, you may need genetic counseling if you fall into any of the following groups:
- People with a family history of hereditary health conditions like cancer or heart disease
- People of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry or other ethnicities are at risk
Your family’s cancer history may include some seemingly distant cancer cases, leading to a mistaken belief that the cancers are unrelated and not hereditary. However, gene mutations can often result in cancers that appear unique.
So, if any of your family members, however distant, has a cancer diagnosis, it’s likely you may have inherited a gene mutation, increasing both you and your offspring’s risk of developing cancer.
If you suspect that you or someone you know falls into any of the above groups, you may want to discuss genetic testing with the specialists at the National HealthCare Center.
Why You Should Get Tested
People who possess hereditary gene mutations may be at risk of developing cancer or heart diseases earlier in life than others.
Common Examples of Hereditary Cancer and Syndromes Include:
- Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (BRCA1, BRCA2)
- Lynch Syndrome (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6)
- Colon Cancer (APC, BMPR1A, EPCAM PMS2, EPCAM)
- Uterine Cancer (MLH1, MSH2, EPCAM, MSH6, PMS2)
- Cowden Syndrome (PTEN)
- Endometrial Cancer (EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6)
- Li Fraumeni Syndrome (TP53)
Common Types of Genetic Heart Disease:
- BICUSPID AORTIC VALVE DISEASE,
- CARDIOMYOPATHY, in which your heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or stiff. This includes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can cause cardiac arrest in younger people, especially young athletes.
- MARFAN SYNDROME
- ARRHYTHMIA, an irregular heartbeat, including Brugada syndrome, long QT syndrome, and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
- CARDIAC AMYLOIDOSIS, where your heart builds up protein deposits that make it harder to pump blood.
- LOEYS-DIETZ SYNDROME, a connective tissue disorder that can cause an aortic aneurysm.
How Genetic Testing Can Help You
Genetic testing can help doctors determine if you or any member of your family is likely to have certain medical conditions.
If you have high-risk genes, the information from the test results can guide you in making better health choices and lifestyle changes to avoid becoming sick. So the sooner genetic testing is performed, the more likely you can manage the risk appropriately.
Depending on how severe your risk factor is, as detected from the result, our specialists may suggest more aggressive treatment options like a prophylactic surgical intervention.