If you have concerns about the possibility of developing certain major diseases in the future as you age, then you may be considering genetic testing. Many people hear this term and are not sure of what it entails and may not know if it is right for them. Genetic testing is simply medical testing that will allow a doctor to identify any changes that have occurred in the proteins, genes, or chromosomes. This will actually allow them to determine if a person is at risk for a medical problem, the possibility of passing along that risk to any children, and can let doctors rule out any suspected illnesses that they think their patients may be suffering from.
Getting Tested for Cancer
There are two main types of cancer, and genetic testing in Singapore can only test for one of them: hereditary cancer. While some people suffer from what is known as “sporadic cancer” where the cancer appears even when there is no family history or genetic risk, most cancers occur because the person carries a mutated gene that will cause the cancer to develop. This gene will have been mutated since birth and is not something that a person can cause by accident, but they are able to know about it with the help of genetic testing. This testing will let a person know if they are at risk of developing cancer in the future.
This kind of testing is not right for everyone, but for a large number of people, it is a good idea. If you have had multiple family members with the same type of cancer, many young members of your family with cancer, or have someone in your family with multiple types of cancer, then you may want to undergo this testing to see your risk.
How it Works
Luckily, genetic testing for hereditary cancer is painless. A doctor will take a blood sample, which will then be sent away to a specialised lab for testing. At this lab the scientists will look for mutated genes and identify any that will put you at a higher risk for cancer. A positive result will mean that they found a mutation, putting you at an increased risk for cancer. A negative result means they did not find any mutations, and an inconclusive results shows that there was a genetic change, but they were unable to determine if it is tied to an increased risk of cancer or not.
You do not have to live in fear of the future, especially when you are afraid of developing cancer. If your family has a history of cancer and you want to know if you need to be particularly diligent, then genetic testing may be right for you. It’s important to find a reputable doctor who will work with you on the testing and then talk to you about the results so you can deal with any emotions that you are feeling. Rather than living in fear, you can take control of your life with this type of genetic testing.