Are you Waiting for Cancer?

Posted on December 21, 2016

doctor and patient sitting at a table

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39.6 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. The percentage is even greater among high-risk groups, such as people who have a family history of cancer. You don’t have to wait for cancer to attack, you can take action now.

Genetic Testing Lets Patients be Proactive

Recent advancements in genetic testing lets patients and healthcare providers take a proactive, rather than a reactive approach, to cancer. There are a number of genetic tests that can be performed to determine how likely you are to contract certain cancers.

For instance, a variant known as the BRCA gene mutation is known to increase a woman’s risk of contracting breast cancer -- and the increase is significant. A test is now available to check for this gene, so both women and their healthcare providers can know how closely they should watch for signs of breast cancer.

Assessing Risk Makes Early Treatment Easier

Thankfully, many people (including lots of women who have breast cancer) survive their battle with cancer. The best way to succeed against the disease is, by far, early detection. Those who are diagnosed with cancer in its initial stages stand a much better chance of surviving than those who don’t realize they have cancer until it’s well advanced.

By determining your risk level through genetic testing, you can work with your healthcare providers to determine how vigilant you should be. If you have a gene that’s closely linked with higher rates of cancer, your providers may recommend regularly having tests done that will monitor for the first signs of cancer. By closely monitoring your body, they can quickly treat any cancer that develops -- and give you the best chances of beating the disease.

Work Closely with an Experienced Team of Doctors

Genetic testing is a powerful new tool in the fight against cancer. Like any tool, though, it should only be used by an expert -- a knowledgeable doctor. If you’re going to go through testing for genetic mutations, work closely with a team of doctors who will be able to interpret the results and provide wise recommendations based on the findings.

If you’re on Long Island and would like to talk with a doctor about the benefits of genetic testing and how it can help you, contact our representatives at our Peconic Bay Medical Center. In addition to world-renown orthopedic doctors and rheumatologists, we also have a highly experienced team of physicians who can help you navigate pre-cancer screenings.

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