Hereditary Cancer Testing
50% of people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
- In the UK >45% of all cancers are in an advanced stage at diagnosis
- Earlier diagnosis enables better outcomes
Detection of a variant empowers the individual to makes changes to their lifestyle and also engage in a care pathway with more frequent screening enabling earlier detection if cancer does develop.
Up to 60% of BRCA carriers are missed through Clinical Criteria based testing 1
1. Manchanda et al. Population Screening for Inherited Predisposition to Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Annu. Rev. Genom. Hum. Genet. 2020. 21:373-412
Most cancers (95%) are not linked to inherited faulty genes. However, the presence of an inherited variant in a gene does increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer and some genes can increase the risk of more than one type of cancer. For example, variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes give an increased lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer.
Detecting an inherited genetic variant can empower you to take actions to reduce your overall risk of cancer, options include:
- Quitting smoking
- Dietary changes
- Being more active
Risk reducing surgery
Detection of a variant can also facilitate earlier detection if a cancer does arise through more frequent screening, thus allowing for more effective treatment options.