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    Cancer Genetic Testing

    Cancer Genetic Testing

    The Comprehensive Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing program offered by Apollo Hospitals is a pioneering effort to provide comprehensive cancer genetics services by assessing individual risk exposure to specific cancer-related genes and genetic factors employing futuristic genetic testing techniques. Our Genetic Cancer Testing program is a unique approach to preventive and risk assessment of cancer genes in patients of all ages. Based on the outcomes of the genetic testing, patients can understand the dangers of cancer while allowing them to make informed treatment decisions and create a tailored treatment plan upon in-depth discussion with their cancer care providers.

    Comprehensive Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing Relevance: Why is it Needed?

    Approximately 5 to 10% of all cancers are hereditary, meaning that specific cancer-causing genetic mutations are passed down from one generation to another. Genetic mutations are changes in our genes that can be identified through a genetic testing panel. Genetic testing can help patients estimate their chances of developing cancer in their lifetime. Specific information obtained from genetic testing can help a patient’s care team develop and guide their healthcare plan accordingly to ensure optimal preventive measures are taken.

    There are several different types of cancer that can arise due to genetic mutations at the cellular level in the different organs of our body. The most common areas where genetic mutations are found include:

    • The gastrointestinal tract.
    • Endocrine and neuroendocrine systems.
    • Hepatopancreatic systems.
    • Pulmonary and nephrotic systems.
    • The skin and eyes.

    Testing for Cancer Genes: When to Consider Testing?

    Genetic testing for determining the risk of cancer can be a personal decision to be made, which is best done in consultation with respective family members, healthcare providers, and genetic counselors. Cancer genetic testing should be considered or recommended to a person in different scenarios:

    • A personal or family history suggesting the genetic cause of cancer with the same or related forms of cancer
    • A family history of cancer diagnosis at a young age
    • A family history of developing one or more than one type of cancer in a single family member
    • A family history of cancer in shared organs, for instance, cancer in both kidneys
    • A personal history of congenital disabilities associated with inherited cancer syndrome
    • An unusual family history of cancer, for example, breast cancer in a male family member
    • A family history of rare cancers, such as ovarian cancer or sarcoma, which are linked to inherited genetic mutations.

    Cancer genetic testing may be requested by a clinical geneticist or a healthcare provider based on these risk factors.

    Areas of Care

    Under Apollo Hospitals’ Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing program, we encourage cancer patients and their close relatives with genetic mutations to consider genetic screening. It can help them take proactive steps to reduce their chances of developing cancer or aid their oncology care team in finding it early when cancer is most treatable. To streamline the cancer genetic mutation testing process, our genetic counselors take special care in guiding patients via the entire procedure.

     Pre-Test Counseling

    Before undergoing cancer genetic testing, patients need to divulge information about their family history to their genetic counselor to make the most out of their genetic test panel. Pre-test medical records may include pathology reports such as biopsies, surgeries, or any previous cancer screening test results. Our genetic counselors will discuss the pros and cons, risks and benefits, and the relevance of hereditary cancer risk assessment of our patients based on the information obtained from their medical and family history. During the visits to the genetic counselors, patients will learn about specific tests, the accuracy of our techniques, and understand the impact of cancer screening test results on their families. This will enable them to make more informed decisions concerning their treatment and care plan.

     Genetic Testing Procedure

    At Apollo Hospitals, an NGS-based panel for hereditary cancer syndrome is recommended to our patients by our genetic counselors. In case of known mutations, targeted Sanger testing may be suggested.

    A blood sample is taken from the patient and tested in a laboratory for genetic testing. The test results are available within four to six weeks.

     Discussing Genetic Test Results

    Our genetic counselors at Apollo Hospitals are adept at providing compassionate care to our patients and advocating patient education to enhance treatment planning and effectiveness. They help our patients understand their respective genetic test results to assist them in informed decision-making for their treatment. Genetic testing to determine hereditary cancer risk can result in three scenarios. Our goal is to help our patients understand what each of these results means.

    • Positive result

    This result entails that a genetic mutation has been found that increases their risk of cancer. This risk may be minor or become a significant risk of developing cancer in the future.

    • Variance of unknown significance (VUS)

    Such a test result necessitates further investigation into the patient’s medical history and correspondence with genetic counselors, as it suggests something unique in the genes that aren’t known to be linked to increased cancer risk.

    • Negative result

    A negative genetic test result insinuates unlikely hereditary cancer risk. However, patients may need to be monitored further.

    Hereditary Cancer Genetics Testing at Apollo Hospitals

    The Hereditary Cancer Genetics Testing program, provided by Apollo Hospitals, has played a crucial role in advancing genetic screening and testing for inherited cancer syndromes in India. Our team of genetic counselors and clinical geneticists has extensive experience in managing various cancer patients. They are dedicated to raising the standards of cancer screening, management, and prevention in India, employing our latest state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. We are working tirelessly to provide all-encompassing cancer care modalities that care for our patient’s needs and comfort while delivering exceptional medical care to obtain optimal outcomes with a high success rate.

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