HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
SHARING IS CARING
Should I Be Tested for Genetic Gynecologic Cancer?
From the GYN Cancer Articles List
I'm trying to decide if I should have genetic testing for gynecologic cancer. What's the criteria for deciding if and when testing is right for me?
Whether or not to have genetic testing
for gynecologic cancer
is a tough decision. It’s more than just a simple blood test. For one, it can be expensive, causing a financial burden for you and your family. Besides the time and money involved, there are a lot of ethical and emotional aspects to consider.
Testing might be as little as $100, or it could extend into the thousands. It depends on the type and extensiveness of testing. Insurance may or may not cover the tests, but if you use insurance the results can become part of your medical file which could have some future impact.
When to test?
You should consider testing if you have:
- a first degree relative with gynecologic or colon cancer
- multiple relatives with cancer diagnoses–especially breast and ovarian cancer
- relatives with more than one type of cancer, or
- family members who were diagnosed with cancer before age 50.
Finding out you don’t test positive for gynecologic genetic mutations can let you relax a bit. You don’t carry the mutations that could increase your risks for those cancers. But if family members test positive, you may then end up feeling guilty that you didn't. Why them and not you?
But what if the opposite is true? Will knowing you have genetics that increase your risk for cancer make you feel like you are living under a dark cloud, waiting for the other foot to drop? Or will it empower you to take control of your health?
And then there’s your family? How will your spouse, children, parents, and siblings feel about the results? What do your results mean for their health? If you test positive, any of your blood relatives could carry the mutation as well. Can they handle knowing those results?
Finding out you have genetic mutations doesn’t mean you will definitely develop those cancers. What it does mean is that you and any affected family members have a greater risk than the general population for developing those cancers.
Knowing you are at risk can let you be proactive. You have an opportunity to possibly prevent those cancers from developing. You can:
Before making a decision about genetic testing
, talk to a genetic counselor
. She can help you understand the implications of the results and how they may affect you and your family.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
08-11-2016 - 03:09 PM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Columbia Ob/Gyn Midtown
51 West 51st St, 3rd FL
New York NY 10019
|Lauren Pinkard, M.D.
4225 W 95th Street
Oak Lawn IL 60453
|James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Binghamton NY 13905
|Joseph S. Valenti, M.D.
2805 S. Mayhill Road
Denton TX 76208
|Susan D. Hunter, M.D.
626 Ed Carey Dr
Harlingen TX 78550
|Lauren Streicher, M.D.
Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern, S.C
680 N. Lake Shore Dr., Suite 117
Chicago IL 60611
|Aileen Caceres, M.D.
Center for Specialized Gynecology/Florida Hospital
410 Celebration Place, Suite 302
Celebration FL 34747
|Geoffrey Cly, M.D.
Suite 101, 11123 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne IN 46845
|Charles Miller, M.D.
120 Osler Drive
Naperville IL 60540