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10 Myths About Genetic Testing

May 5, 2022

10 Myths About Genetic Testing

Most people have heard about genetic testing when it comes to cancer risk, but there is a lot of misinformation. Today, gynecologic oncologist Casandra Liggins, MD joins us to bust the myths about genetic testing and share the facts.

MYTH #1: Most Cancers are Genetic

FALSE. The majority of patients who develop cancer do not have a genetic predisposition. “Genetic inheritance plays a role in approximately five to ten percent of cancers,” Dr. Liggins explains. When it comes to breast cancer in particular, five to ten percent of breast cancer patients have an identified gene, although another ten to 15 percent of patients will have a familial correlation, even though the gene is not present.

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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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