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Genetic testing for hereditary cancer
Cancer is one of the most common diseases in Canada. Nearly 50% of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, but only half will survive.
All cancers are caused by genetic changes that affect the functioning of our cells. People who inherit these genetic changes have an increased risk of developing cancer in their lifetime and often earlier than the rest of the population. Fortunately, genetic testing is available to help you determine if you are at higher risk of a certain type of cancer based on your genetic background. Knowing this risk can change your medical follow-up, allow for targeted screening and risk reduction options.
Learn more about cancer
In most cases, cancer occurs by chance. The risk increases as we age.
In 5-10% of cases, the genetic changes that cause cancer are hereditary. If your father, mother, brother, sister or other family member has been affected by cancer at a younger age (e.g., under 50), you may have inherited a genetic change in your DNA. If this is the case, you will be more likely to develop certain types of cancer in your lifetime.
Examples of cancers with a genetic predisposition:
Breast cancer (5-10%)
Ovarian cancer (15-20%)
Endometrial cancer (3-5%)
Colorectal cancer (5-10%)
Pancreatic cancer (10%)
Prostate cancer (5-12%)
At Genolife, our genetic experts are here to discuss your situation and help you choose the best approach based on a variety of factors.
Your personal and family history of cancer
The likelihood of developing a form of hereditary cancer in your lifetime
The genetic testing options available to you
The implications of genetic testing in your life
Preventive management with your doctor, if necessary