Genetic testing offers the ability to connect your family tree and find international origins, but it can also be used for more serious reasons. Understanding your family's medical health history through genetic testing can help you prepare for and prevent the onset of a variety of diseases. Some of the more important diseases to get tested for are cancers. Rare cancers may run through your family, making you more prone to getting the disease. By working with your doctor and genetic testing companies, there are five rare cancers or diseases that you can get tested for. If anyone in your family has had one of the following five cancers or diseases, it's a good idea to get genetically tested and see if there are any DNA strains present in your genes.
Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer
Also known as Lynch syndrome, HNCC refers to a type of colon cancer that is passed through family genes. This is a rare condition, as only around 3% of colon cancers are associated with HNCC. Not only will your family have more cases of colon cancer, but having this genetic version can cause signs of colon cancer to appear earlier.
After getting tested for the gene, your doctor may recommend annual colon checks to ensure that nothing is wrong. These preventative measures can help spot any signs of colon cancer and start treatment as soon as possible.
Forming in the neck glands, parathyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare cancer that can be passed down genetically. Once the cancer is found, it can be hard to completely remove from the body. This is why preventative genetic testing is ideal for finding risk factors through your family's DNA. If anyone in your family has had this type of cancer, then your doctor can order the genetic test. When looking at family history, it's important not to look at just direct relatives, but you should also examine distant relatives like cousins.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Another type of rare thyroid cancer is known as Medullary Thyroid Cancer. This cancer is very rare and limited, but the risk for it can be discovered through mutated genes and cells in a person's body. Not all forms of this cancer are genetic, but if there are any cases in your family, then you should get tested.
If the mutation is found, then doctors can move forward with preventative measures to test and prevent any thyroid issues.
When pancreatic cancer is discovered in a person, it is often found in late stages and is very hard to remove. If more than one person in your family has had a history of pancreatic cancer, then you should get tested for the cancer. Pancreatic cancer can often spread and cause other types of cancer to form in the body. When this occurs, it may be harder to pinpoint pancreatic cancer as the main problem. This is why a pancreatic cancer panel may often be included with other cancer panels like Lynch syndrome. By covering multiple types of cancers, your genetics can be fully detailed in a testing process.
If your family has a history of women with tumors, then you may include an intravenous leiomyomatosis genetic test with the blood work that you have completed. Intravenous leiomyomatosis is exclusive to women and initially appears as benign tumors that can spread to the heart. These tumors may look similar to many types of cancers and can still pose threats. Along with the muscles and heart, this rare disease can form in the blood streams of your body, too.
A family with a history of blood cancers, uterine cancers, or even lung cancers could be at risk for intravenous leiomyomatosis. This disease could be included with a number of other genetic tests that females are prone to.
Genetic tests cannot just be taken at your choosing. You must have the tests ordered through a doctor. By communicating with a doctor and expressing your concerns, you can have tests ordered simply based on basic family history. This will help you figure out any risk factors in your life. For more information, contact local genetic testing companies.