Sunday, April 15, 2018
Cancer Treatment Based on Inherited Genetics
About 1 in 10 patients with advanced cancer exhibit a mutation in their DNA that can be useful for the treatment of cancer. Because of this, testing for that same genetic mutation in families has become more common. When a test comes back positive for a hereditary mutation, the family members who carry it have to take preventative measures and get regularly checked. Dr. David Nanus, chief of hematology and oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, studies hereditary genetic mutations and he stated, "If you have a patient that's positive, that means statistically, seven out of his children are going to be positive. It's a one out of two chance of inheriting it."
Being able to detect cancerous mutations in a person is impactful, especially to those who carry the same genetic code, your family. It can also give rise to a better understanding of a hereditary risk of cancer. Knowing the specific mutations that are either inherited or found in the tumor, gives the potential to treat it with more accuracy.
However, there is some uncertainty the follows. There are genetic mutations called "variants of unknown significance" which are not specifically linked to any disease, which makes it harder to pinpoint.
I think family health problems should always be looked at, no matter what condition. It's always important to see what diseases are in a family because it can be potentially life-saving.
Original Article: http://www.businessinsider.com/oncologists-confront-hereditary-link-with-cancer-and-how-to-talk-to-families-2018-4