DNA Testing For Cancer

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

Cancer is a progressive disease that is extremely dangerous and leads to the death of an individual if treatment is not received in a timely manner. Cancer begins with the formation of abnormal cells in a particular area of the body. The type of cancer is based on the area that is has first occurred in. As the cancer cells grow, they tend to form a tumor. This tumor grows uncontrollably and affects the healthy cells of the region. Cancer cells tend to attack the healthy cells in that area as they multiply. When cancer reaches an advanced stage, it starts spreading to other organs and parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. Cancer can be treated effectively if it is caught at an early stage. For this reason, regular medical health checkups are recommended for all people, especially those who are over 40 years of age.

Recent medical research has discovered a link between genetics and cancer. Repeated studies have shown that particular people are at risk of developing cancer if they have certain genes or genetic mutations present in their DNA. Because of this, DNA testing for cancer is now recommended at many health centers across the world. The link between DNA and cancer has long been suspected because of history showing us that many people suffer from similar forms of cancer as their relatives do. When a couple with family histories of cancer have a baby, they can have a DNA test conducted on their child to check for any known genetic flaws that could cause problems later in life. Specific genes have been linked to specific types of cancer.

When a DNA test shows a positive result for a genetic mutation, a few things would be understood. Primarily, it means that a person is genetically predisposed to suffering from that form of cancer. It does not mean that the person will surely suffer from cancer; it only means that there is a likelihood of this happening. A positive DNA test means that the person concerned will need to have regular checkups to test for cancer. These tests are usually recommended once every few months. The tests may use blood sampling and other general checkups to establish whether there is a tumor developing in the body or not. The DNA test for cancer is thus a very important test that could help a patient prevent or catch cancer at an early stage, leading to an improved chance of survival.

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