Best Genetic Testing in Atlanta, Georgia for Common Hereditary Cancers
Cancer occurs when abnormal cells outpace the development of normal cells. The disease can start anywhere in the body, such as the lungs, breasts, ovaries, or prostate.
Though not all cancers are caused by genes, some people may have certain predispositions for hereditary cancers. Hereditary cancers are caused by gene mutations that may have negative effects in the body. Some of these genetic mutations result in conditions such as Lynch Syndrome, which increases an individual’s risk for certain cancers. Atlanta Men’s Clinic offers some of the best genetic testing for hereditary cancers for DNA testing in Atlanta.
Advancements in science have allowed genetic testing to rule out other reasons why cancers may develop: environmental exposures, diet, or lifestyle. Genetic testing can allow people who have genetic mutations that predispose them to cancer to take better preventative measures.
Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Screening
Studies find that about 12% of women may develop cancer during their lifetime. Some of these women have inherited the genetic mutation(s) BRCA1 or BRCA2. Research has shown that 55-65% of women who have the BRCA1 mutation and 45% of women who have the BRCA2 mutation are likely to develop breast cancer by age 70. While ovarian cancer occurs in only 1.3% of women, 39% of women with BRCA1 and 11-17% of women with the BRCA2 mutations are at a high risk for ovarian cancer.
BRCA testing can check whether or not you’ve inherited the genes that may increase your risk for some cancers. At Atlanta Men’s Clinic, one of the premier DNA testing centers in Atlanta, the BRCA gene test is performed as a blood test, with results available within just a few weeks.
Testing for Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer is caused by the following gene mutations: MLH1, MSH2, EPCAM, MSH6, and PMS2. Testing usually involves the collection of saliva and blood. These are sent to a lab, where a qualified specialist will extract information about your DNA based on the samples collected. A genetic counselor can explain your results if you test positive for the mutation.
Is uterine cancer hereditary?
Some women are at an increased risk of uterine cancer due to genetic factors, but this doesn’t mean uterine cancer is hereditary for all women. Research shows that women who have a family history of Lynch Syndrome (known as hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer), are ten times more likely to develop uterine cancer. Women with a strong family history of Lynch Syndrome or uterine cancer would benefit from genetic testing and early screening.
Endometrial Cancer Testing
Endometrial cancer testing is similar to uterine cancer testing, as the same gene mutations can also cause this cancer. Data shows that endometrial cancer is often the first symptom in women with Lynch Syndrome. An endometrial cancer test assesses the risk for this cancer and may also provide women with knowledge that can help them reduce their risk for other cancers.
Colon Cancer Genetic Testing
About 5-10% of people who get colon cancer have a genetic mutation that caused the disease. Several genetic tests for colon cancer are available to check an individual’s predisposition to this cancer.
Genetic Testing for Lynch Syndrome
Sometimes referred to as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), Lynch Syndrome is a genetic condition that puts people at risk of developing cancer in the ovaries, colon, uterus, and stomach. People who have Lynch Syndrome may get cancer at younger ages, such as the 30s and 40s. Those who are diagnosed through Lynch syndrome testing have a 40-80% chance of developing colon cancer. Endometrial cancer is also considered to occur as a result of Lynch Syndrome.
Cowden Syndrome Test
Cowden Syndrome is a hereditary condition caused by genetic mutations. It is characterized by non-cancerous growths called hamartomas, growths in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (polyps), and growths on the skin that occur before an individual reaches the age of 30. People with Cowden Syndrome are at an increased risk of developing thyroid, endometrial, or breast cancer. Testing allows for preventative measures and more frequent screenings for these cancers.
Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Test
Li-Fraumeni is an uncommon disorder that can raise the risk for breast, muscle, and some bone cancers. One way to figure out whether you may have this syndrome is with TP53 gene mutation testing. This genetic test can determine whether or not you have the mutation that causes Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
Prostate Cancer and Testosterone Replacement Therapy
In men, testosterone is produced by the testicles. Historically, there has been a concern that hormone replacement therapy may lead to prostate cancer. This belief is based on the hypothesis that androgens like testosterone feed prostate tumor growth. The hypothesis originated with a 1941 study in which a prostate cancer patient showed improvement after his testicles were removed. In another publication, researchers studied prostate cancer incidence among over 19,000 men from 1959 to 2004 and found that men with low testosterone were 20% less likely to get prostate cancer.
The first study looked at eliminating testosterone production, and the second study looked at men with naturally low testosterone. This and similar findings have led to the development of hormone therapy to lower androgen levels for patients with prostate cancer.
However, researchers who specifically studied the effect of testosterone replacement therapy have found it not to increase prostate cancer risk. In a 2017 study of nearly one thousand men newly diagnosed with low testosterone, men who used testosterone replacement therapy had the same risk of developing prostate cancer as those who did not use testosterone replacement therapy over three years.
Is genetic testing for cancer right for you?
Genetic testing for cancer allows you to know whether or not you have some genetic mutations that can contribute to an increased risk for certain cancers. Tests are not available for all mutations, but these are in constant development as science continues to advance. As of now, great strides have been made with breast cancer genetic testing, TP53 genetic testing (which tests for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome), and genetic screening for ovarian cancer. These tests have made an impact for patients who have been able to get preventative care or early screening.
You should consider genetic screening for cancer if:
- Cancer is an extensive part of your family’s medical history, or if someone in your family has been diagnosed with cancer at a young age (20s, 30s, or 40s).
- If a relative has gotten a positive result on a test that determines they may be at risk for certain cancers.
- You’re of an ethnic group that is considered to be at higher risk for certain cancers. For example, women who are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent often undergo genetic testing for breast cancer because some mutations are more common in their ethnic group even without family history.
What are the benefits of genetic testing?
Genetic testing can let you know if you’ve inherited a gene mutation that can increase your risk of developing cancer when compared to the general population. Earlier genetic testing allows you and your physician to have better control over these risks.
Test results can help your doctor prescribe more routine screenings that can detect certain cancers—such as colonoscopies or mammograms—so they’re caught early if they occur.
Should you consider hereditary cancer screening? Understand your risk.
Breast cancer genetic testing
Approximately 12.5% of women in developed countries contract breast cancer. Genetic testing for breast cancer can provide important information for 20-87% of people who may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Colon cancer genetic testing
Colorectal cancer can affect up to 5% of men and women. Taking a genetic test for colon cancer could save thousands of lives. CRC is often related to Lynch Syndrome as well.
Genetic screening for ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer occurs in 1 out of 71 women. At least one fourth of ovarian cancer cases are caused by genetic factors.
Uterine cancer testing
Uterine cancer affects approximately 1 out of 38 women. Lynch syndrome is one of the disorders that can increase risk for this cancer.
Who should consider DNA testing for cancer?
Does your family history raise any red flags? You can inherit an abnormal gene from your parents and if that gene is linked to cancer, you’re chances of inheriting the disease are much greater. Testing is important for anyone with a family history with certain types of cancer, to see if they carry a gene mutation that increases their risk. Also, if a person has already been diagnosed with cancer, particularly if there are other factors to suggest the cancer might have been caused by a genetic mutation. This can also help other family members decide if they want to be tested for the same mutation.
Additionally, since much of the time the family history isn’t clear, parents of adopted children know how important it is to find out if their kids are at a higher risk due to genetic mutations.
Who to Contact for DNA Testing in Atlanta
Atlanta Men’s Clinic offers an array of DNA testing options for genetic cancer near you. We pride ourselves on our excellent team of dedicated physicians and genetic counselors who care about our patients’ well-being and are committed to providing the highest standard of care for genetic testing in Atlanta, GA. If you have any questions about genetic testing for hereditary cancers or would like to make an appointment, contact us