Good sensible piece by a MD Anderson geneticist/oncologist under which circumstances genetic testing should be considered, starting off with the following reminder:
Of those who do get cancer, only 5% to 10% will do so by inheriting a mutated gene.
In fact, nine out of 10 people who develop cancer do so simply because they:
- get older
- fit into a higher-risk category due to smoking, obesity or alcohol abuse
- have a predisposing condition such as HIV infection
- have any combination of these factors
While I don’t fit into any of these categories, the advice for those worried is to start with a family tree and record any instances of cancer, with any under the age of 50 being a red flag.