The thought of being diagnosed with Cancer can be frightening, but preventative care is available to help you combat this disease.
Genetic testing for cancer can help you by providing awareness of your personalized DNA makeup and can accurately establish whether genetic mutations are found in your body.
If your family members have been diagnosed with cancer, this testing helps you to determine how likely you may be for inheriting those mutated genes that the cancer started from and the chances of them being passed down to your children or grandchildren.
If you have been previously diagnosed with cancer, hereditary testing for cancer can let you know the likelihood of developing that specific type of cancer again, as well as other cancers based on mutations found.
In most cases, this genetic test is covered by Medicare and some commercial plans with little to no out-of-pocket costs. Medical records of prior diagnoses assist in determining your coverage.
As research evolves, humanity is discovering the importance of recognizing the spread of cancer from a hereditary perspective. By understanding the way your DNA is different from other people, you can gain insight on how susceptible you may be to harmful genetic variations. If you find that your genes have become altered over time, you run the risk of advancing these harmful genes down through generations of your bloodline. Obtaining knowledge and awareness through genetic testing can allow you, as well as future generations in your family tree, to take steps in fighting the possibly of acquiring cancer.
Our genetics testing lab is located at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge campus and is operated in the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Your genetic testing kit, which includes free, pre-paid shipping, will be shipped to our lab for processing upon completion of your mouth swab test. This process can take as little as 2 weeks to run your sample and have your results distributed to yourself and your healthcare provider by mail. Once you have your results, you and your doctor may choose to build a long-term, preventative care plan based on the outcome of your chances for developing cancer and/or passing on cancer-related genes to your loved ones. In addition, genetic counseling is available as an extra resource to you if help is needed for interpretation of your results.
Cancer is a disease that affects the lives of roughly one-third of people in the United States. There are over 120 different types of cancer that have been discovered and they can be found nearly anywhere on the body, both inside or outside on the surface of the skin. This disease can arise in anyone, at anytime, and can potentially be life-threatening. Many people wonder how cancer starts or where this disease comes from.
Our bodies contain a high number of membrane-bound molecules called cells. Cells act as the building blocks of life and are found in every living thing. Humans have trillions of cells, which allow us to carry out actions such as breaking down nutrients from our food for absorption and converting these nutrients into energy. Cells can also perform several other specialized functions, but in some cases cells may begin to wreak havoc on the body.
As we age, our cells follow a growth and division process. Over time our cells become old or abnormal, in which case they usually die off. Cancer is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells in a certain area of the body, due to old and abnormal cells remaining alive. As these defective cells stick around in the body, the affected area becomes overcrowded; thwarting off the normal, functional cells from thriving in their natural state. Over time, these harmful cells can severely weaken the immune system, mutate genes, spread to other areas of the body, and cause death if left untreated.
Every human being has a susceptibility for developing cancer at some point throughout their lifetime, especially those with a hereditary predisposition and those who have been previously diagnosed. Genetics play a prominent role in the study of cancer diseases and allow people to understand the possibility of acquiring cancer from family members and/or passing down mutated genes that are linked to cancer onto children and grandchildren. Environmental factors also play a contributing role in the discovery of cancer. These include lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and other reasons such as overexposure to ultraviolet light, exposure to radiation, and pollution in the air we breathe. These factors significantly elevate the chances of getting cancer. If a person is diagnosed with cancer that is not due to an inherited mutation, there is a possibility the cancer may also spread to those around them, appearing to "run in the family."
Finding out early whether environmental elements have caused your genes to mutate or if you have inherited mutated genes from previous generations in your family tree can help reduce your risk of being diagnosed with cancer. Detecting these changes to your DNA and body, as well as taking necessary steps to improve your health, can serve to lengthen your time of survival.