Myriad myRisk Genetic Testing at Wichita Urology
There are many benefits to getting genetic testing, regardless of the eventual result. If one of your family members — however distant — had cancer, there is a chance that you inherited a gene mutation that not only increases your personal risk of cancer, but also could be passed on to the next generation. Those who are carriers of hereditary cancer gene mutations, could be at greater risk than the general population of getting cancer earlier in life and developing multiple cancers. The sooner genetic testing is done, the more likely it is that the risk can be managed appropriately.
Remember: Your healthcare professional is your most valuable source of information about hereditary cancer screening.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “it runs in the family.” From an obvious family resemblance to a not-so-obvious inherited trait such as the shape of our earlobes, much of who we are physically comes from our DNA, which comes from the DNA of our biological parents.
The Human Genome Project estimates that we have about 20,000 genes. The genes in our DNA are like a tool kit, used by different cells in different ways. Most cells use only a few of the many, many possible functions of our genes.
Benefits of Genetic Testing
There are many different types of genetic testing products that we offer, including:
- Hereditary cancer tests that assess your genetic cancer risk
- Diagnostic tests that assist in the diagnosis of disease
- Prognostic tests that predict the aggressiveness of disease or the likelihood of disease progression
Goals of Genetic Testing
- Provide valuable information for use in customizing medical management plans;
- Determine whether you have a genetic mutation known to increase your risk for certain inherited cancers;
- Help your healthcare professional make a timely and accurate diagnosis;
- Enable your healthcare professional to better predict disease aggressiveness to assist in making more informed treatment decisions;
- Assist your healthcare professional in making important decisions about the management of your disease.
Who Needs Genetic Testing?
If you have had cancer at a young age, a rare cancer or if cancer occurs frequently in your family, genetic testing may be an important first step for you. If a greater than average risk of cancer is found, there are a number of things you and your healthcare professional can do to manage that risk:*
- You might be advised to have more frequent monitoring to help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage and improve cancer survival.
- Your healthcare professional may recommend preventive strategies, including risk-reducing medications or surgeries, that may reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- You and your healthcare professional can make more informed decisions on your treatment options.
- Test results can help your relatives learn more about the inherited risk and how it may affect them.
In addition, family members who do not carry mutations that increase their cancer risk may avoid unnecessary medical interventions.
Am I a Candidate for Genetic Testing?
To help you assess whether you may be benefit from hereditary cancer testing, take the Myriad Hereditary Cancer Quiz. This simple, 30-second quiz can help you get the information you need to discuss your risk of cancer with your healthcare professional and ask for further evaluation.
*Any discussion of medical management options is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation. While genetic testing and medical society guidelines provide important and useful information, all medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and his or her healthcare professional.
Frequently asked questions about genetic testing
Q. I already know I have a family history of cancer. Why should I get tested?
A. Testing for a hereditary cancer risk helps you and your healthcare professional understand your risk so you can make the best choices for preventive care. Knowing your family history is an important first step, but testing can give you a more accurate picture of your risk.
Q. I already have cancer. Why should I get tested?
A. Testing for a hereditary cancer helps you and your healthcare professional understand your risk for developing a second primary cancer. This information can allow you to make the best choices for preventive care.
Q. Is testing recommended for everyone?
A. While testing is the most accurate way to determine the risk of hereditary cancer, only people who have cancer in their family or a personal history of the disease need to be tested. If you have had cancer and/or cancer runs in your family, let your healthcare professional know.
Q. How do I get tested?
A. Ask your healthcare professional if testing is right for you. If so, your healthcare professional will draw a small amount of your blood or take a saliva sample and send it to Myriad Genetic Laboratories for analysis.
Q. How long does it take to get the test results?
A. Your healthcare professional will let you know your test results as soon as they are available, which may be as soon as 2-3 weeks from the date your test is performed.
Q. Does a positive test result mean that I have cancer?
A. No. Genetic testing does not tell you if you currently have cancer. Your test results will tell you about your inherited risk of developing cancer in the future.
Q. Does a positive test result mean that I will definitely develop cancer?
A. No. A positive test result simply tells you that you have an increased risk of cancer.