Cancer in the family

The presence of a cancer gene in one family member could mean that other family members may be affected. You could start to understand whether any family members also carry the cancer gene and, with the help of an expert, estimate their cancer risk.

The cancer predisposition panel costs XXXXXX. Results are sent by email in 6-9 weeks.

The full list of genes we test for can be found by clicking here.

Taking a cancer predisposition test

A cancer predisposition test is a good option for those individuals who:

  • Have a history of a type of cancer in the family
  • Have had a history of cancer themselves

Family traits and medical history

There are a number of traits in one’s family or personal medical history that could suggest a familial type of cancer. These include:

  • Diagnosis of cancer in a young individual
  • More than 1 type of cancer occurring independently in the same person
  • Family members that have shared the same type of cancer
  • An individual’s ethnic origins – some ethnic groups are more susceptible to certain types of hereditary cancers.

The above are just some of the features that could indicate you are at risk of a hereditary cancer. An oncologist or another health care professional could give you more information about the above features and others.

Getting professional guidance

It is crucial that you have a specialist guide you throughout the test. A specialist will determine whether this test is suited for you as well as the implications of positive or negative results. The results of this test will be sent directly to your specialist who will then contact you to discuss your cancer test results.

How are your samples collected?

Samples are collected using mouth swabs. We provide the swabs needed in an easy-to-use sample collection kit which will be sent to your chosen address as soon as the payment has been processed. The swabs are rubbed against the mucous membranes lining our mouths. The samples of cheek cells that adhere to the mouth swabs when we rub the swab is enough for scientists to test for the presence of all 96 gene variants tested for in our cancer panel. Samples are analyzed using a type of technology known as next generation sequencing. This technology allows scientists to sequence DNA much more quickly than former sequencing methods and as such have revolutionized the study of genomics and molecular biology.

Common questions

We don’t have a family history of cancer. Can I still carry out this test?

This test is only recommended for people who have a family history of cancer. If you don’t have a family history, you do not need this test. If you are unsure, consult your doctor who can then guide you further.

I already know we have a type of cancer in the family. Will this test still be useful?

Yes, even if you are aware that you have a type of cancer in the family a genetic predisposition test can help your genetic councilor or specialist get a much better picture of the situation and establish just how high or low your risk is. The risk of other family members can also be established.

Are there any risks?

The test itself is a risk free test. However, in rare cases the results could impact an individual causing adverse psychological reactions such as anxiety or depression. This is why we ensure our clients only do this test with the help of a genetic councilor or health care professional- in this way they will have all the support and information they need before, during and after the genetic cancer test has been carried out.

Does a positive result means I will get cancer?

Positive results mean that you are at an increased risk for that type of cancer. You may never actually develop it. Your genetic councilor is here just for this – to help you make sense of the results and evaluate your risks and those of your direct, blood family members.