4 December, 2018

Hereditary cancer – A matter for all of us!

New era of multi-gene analysis for people at increased risk.

Cancer is generally a sporadic event but there is a small percentage of 10-15% of cases of diagnosed cancers that are due to inherited mutations in specific genes in the individual. In these cases, therefore, genetic testing for people with a heavy personal or family history is considered absolutely essential for the proper management of any person at high risk.

As has become known in recent years, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are strongly associated with inherited breast and/or ovarian cancer syndromes. Mutations in them give women who carry them an increased risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer and men a high risk of prostate cancer and other cancers.

It is important to stress that the above is not exclusive to women as men with mutations in certain genes are also at increased risk of developing cancer (For example, men with a known mutation in the BRCA2 gene are seven times more likely to develop prostate cancer).

We now have the opportunity to fully analyse the genes associated with inherited cancer syndromes using the most advanced technology, which provides us with all the necessary details for the prevention and personalised treatment of cancer for people at increased risk.

Genetic testing: who is it for?
Genetic testing to detect predisposition to inherited cancer syndromes is aimed at people who developed any form of cancer at a young age, people with breast cancer before the age of 45, women with epithelial carcinoma of the ovaries, people with multiple cases of cancer in their family, people with multiple primary tumours and people with a known mutation in the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes.

The HerediGENE multi-gene analysis for the detection of predisposition to hereditary cancer syndromes, fully analyses 33 genes associated with the most known hereditary cancer syndromes and is performed in the central laboratories of GenekorIatric S.A. in Athens. This analysis can be used in parallel to identify family members who are at risk of developing cancer in order to make appropriate decisions to reduce this risk (e.g. prophylactic mastectomy or oophorectomy).