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Genetic vs Genomic Testing: What’s the Difference?

November 26, 2018

Genetic vs Genomic Testing: What’s the Difference?

Although the terms “genetic” and “genomic” are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different. Learning more about the differences between them can help clear up some of the confusion we often see related to hereditary genes linked to developing cancer.

Genetic Testing  

Genetics usually refers to the study of specific, individual genes and whether they are passed from one generation to the next. Cancer researchers have studied hereditary gene mutations (changes) that can play a role in the development of cancer.  

Genetic tests are medical tests that look for certain inherited gene mutations. This allows the genetic counselor to understand if the person being assessed is at a higher risk for developing certain kinds of cancers - such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, or others.

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Benefits of Cancer Genetic Testing

December 22, 2015

By Mike Janicek, MD, Arizona Oncology

Genetic testing is a wonderful tool for physicians and patients.  5-10%, and in some cases up to 25% of certain cancers are due to an inherited genetic cause, or mutation, which is identifiable with genetic testing.  Not only can this provide information that could impact treatment decisions if a person has cancer, but it allows physicians to screen appropriately for any other cancers a patient may be at increased risk for.  It is also useful for relatives who can then be tested for the familial mutation.  Genetic testing provides the ability to not just help one person, but all of their blood relatives across the whole family tree.

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