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Health Tip: Testing for Cancer

What you should know before you go

(HealthDay News) -- Genetic testing for cancer involves looking at specific genes which, when deemed abnormal, increase the likelihood that a person will develop cancer.

Genes have not been discovered for all types of cancer, and the majority of genetic testing applies only to a small percentage of people with cancer in the family -- about 5 percent to 10 percent.

This type of testing does not predict for certain who will develop cancer, but indicates those who are at greater risk.

Before a person considers genetic testing, CancerCare advises they have a family risk assessment to:

  • Find out if the cancers in their family are likely to be hereditary.
  • Learn about cancer genetics.
  • Understand the meaning of a positive or negative test result.
  • Be psychologically prepared to receive test results.
  • Have a plan in place to manage any necessary treatment.
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