Genetic testing for hereditary cancer in Israel
It’s has been proven that 5% to 10% of cancer are associated with gene mutations. Every cell of the body has it inherited or transferred to the next generation. A hereditary genetic mutation does not mean that a man will have cancer disease, but he is at higher risk for developing certain types of cancer.
Genetic testing for cancer is performed when a specific type of cancer has been identified in the family or with the next of kin and a gene mutation is suspected. Predisposition testing can be used to find many hereditary gene mutations – oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.
Genetic predisposition testing can be used for the following hereditary cancers:
- breast cancer – BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
- bowel cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- uterus cancer
- ovarian cancer
- colon cancer
- bladder cancer
- thyroid cancer
When are genetic testing performed to detect cancer risks?
A diagnostic genetic test is recommended if the family has:
- Relatives from the same side of your family have the same type of cancer.
- First-degree relatives (mother, father, sisters, brothers, children) are diagnosed with cancer.
- A family cancer group is associated with a single gene mutation (for example, breast, ovarian, colorectal and pancreatic cancers).
- Early cancer incidence.
- Information about Hereditary Cancer Syndromes.
- Rare types of cancer (for example, eye cancer – rentinoblastoma or breast cancer in men).
- A family member has more than one type of cancer.
- Race or ethnicity (e.g. Hebrew Ashkenazi).
- Physiological precancerous conditions.
- Predisposition testing has been performed previously and a mutation has been detected.
Where to start?
If there are cancer cases in your family and if you believe that molecular genetic testing can be beneficial to you, consult your doctor or Israeli specially trained genetic counselor.
A genetic counselor can help to determine the desired test for you and your family. After undergoing the genetic predisposition tests, you will receive a report with the research results.
It is important to consult with a highly professional genetics, because the test results themselves provide only incomplete and limited results to understand a risk of getting cancer disease. The geneticist correctly interprets the results and provides the basis for further individual diagnosis and therapeutic strategy.
Genetic molecular tests based on a blood sample or saliva, allow to understand the type of a specific mutation and get new options available to people at cancer risk. For example, if hereditary breast cancer is suspected, the presence of the brca1 and brca2 genes indicates it. In this way patients will be ready for a personal treatment protocol based on known hereditary oncogene. This protocol is used in personalized medicine and targeted treatment, and is being actively introduced in Israel.
Ethical side of genetic predisposition testing
Cancer mutations inherited by kinship affect not only you, but also family members who share your hereditary information. A report on the results of genetic research can lead to a variety of emotions – from anger to guilt. Nevertheless, it is necessary to do this for the early detection of hereditary oncogenes and to select an individual screening for cancer together with the doctor.
Genetic predisposition oncotests may require additional testing and procedures
In some cases, additional medical tests, regular cancer screening or procedures based on the results of genetic testing may be required. These activities can detect cancer at an earlier stage when it can be cured.
Cost of predisposition genetic oncotests
The cost of genetic testing for hereditary cancer can vary and depends on the genes number and the test purpose.