Genetic testing usually consists of either a blood or saliva sample. In the case of government-insured services, a referral based on certain criteria will be required and in some regions there are long wait times for this service. In the case of private clinics or online services there is a cost but it is often quite affordable and turn-around is usually within a few weeks. In all cases, test results should be interpreted only by a qualified genetics counsellor. DO NOT use an ancestry DNA test to test for risky genes.
It is important to know that a negative test result does not mean that you don't carry a risky gene mutation that hasn't been discovered yet, or that you will never develop cancer. The research is constantly changing to include additional genes and mutations within those genes. If you received a negative genetic test result in the past but there is a strong history of cancer in your family or you are concerned for another reason, it may make sense to re-test. This is especially true if you received a negative result more than five years ago, because most tests before that time included only two of the many genes that are typically included in today's full-gene panel.
Although genetic information is now protected in Canada, you may want to ensure life and disability insurance is in place prior to considering genetic testing.
Anyone can carry risky genes. However, it is more likely if a risky gene mutation has already been identified in your family or if certain criteria apply. The criteria may vary somewhat, depending on your region, but it is important that you have a good understanding of your family and/or personal cancer history when seeking government-insured testing.
Government-insured testing usually requires a referral from a primary care physician to a genetics or hereditary cancer clinic.
For those who do not qualify for government-insured genetic testing or prefer to use private clinics or testing options for quicker turnaround, affordable no-barrier options are available that anyone can use. However, these services are not created equal so it is important to do your homework to ensure you have chosen the best test for your situation. Ensure you choose an option that includes professional genetic counseling to interpret the results and a comprehensive test that includes all of the more recently discovered genes.
In the case where a risky gene mutation has already been identified in your family, the work required to search out that mutation in biological relatives is less and so is the cost of the test.
Copyright © 2021 Risky Genes - All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: This website is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice, nor is this information intended to replace advice offered by medical professionals.
Risky genes is a genetic condition that can cause any of several types of cancer due to the presence of inherited mutations in any of many different genes. Our old name, The Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Society, was based on old science that no longer reflects the true scope of this condition.