Hereditary factors account for approx. 10-30 percent of all cancer cases. They are particularly significant in the case of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, which are caused by a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, increasing the risk of ovarian cancer by approx. 40 percent and breast cancer by as much as 70 percent. It is estimated that today these disorders occur in 1 in every 300 women in Poland. Experts stress that those whose family members were diagnosed with cancer at an early age need to be particularly vigilant and should undergo testing for genetic predisposition.
What can our genes tell us?
Having a genetic predisposition test done is the first step in cancer prevention. Depending on the type of cancer that occurred in the family, we should take a closer look at our health, while regularly undergoing a series of preventive examinations, such as breast and pelvic ultrasounds or a colonoscopy, if you are at a risk of colon cancer. We should also remember that, even if our test results indicate a lack of genetic predisposition to cancer, it does not give us 100 percent certainty that we will never get cancer, so the key to cancer prevention is undergoing testing, followed by regular preventive check-ups.
Agnieszka Motyl, MD, family medicine specialist and epidemiologist at Medicover
Early detection saves lives
Genetic testing – a milestone
What do you gain by undergoing a genetic predisposition test?