Molecular testing looks for specific inherited changes (mutations) in a person’s genetic make-up. Genetic mutations may have different effects on a person’s health. Mutations that are harmful may increase a person’s chance or risk of developing a disease such as cancer. Inherited mutations are thought to play a role in 10% of all cancers. These particular conditions are considered hereditary and appropriate genetic testing may be used to determine an individuals risk.
Some people inherit mutations in the germ line allowing for the mutations to be passed on from their parents and to their children. There are two classes of cellular genes: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Often multiple genetic mutations in a single individual are responsible for the development of hereditary cancers.
Advanced Genomic testing is designed to help identify the DNA alterations that may be driving the growth of a specific cancer unique to you. DNA testing provides information to the physician for possible early detection and/or to design and identify treatments specifically designed to target those mutations.
Genetic counseling and testing may be recommended for people who have had certain cancers or certain patterns of cancer in their family.