Is cancer hereditary? And, why does cancer happen in younger people?
Those two questions happen to be connected…
The general rule of thumb is: If someone develops cancer under the age of 50, there’s a very high chance that it’s caused by cancer-related inherited mutations. Meaning, the person was born with certain mutations and it was really just a matter of time before they developed into cancer.
(Though, if you have cancer-causing inherited mutations, it’s not 100% certain that you will develop cancer at any point in your life. It ultimately comes down to chance and other lifestyle factors.)
And…this is why we offer inherited mutation testing!
You may or may not know this, but Cancer Treatment Options and Management (CTOAM) also has a sister service, called Liquid Biopsy Labs. (Learn more about inherited mutation testing here.)
So the first thing you want to get clear on is whether you need this type of test in the first place!
In other words…
Is Cancer Hereditary in Your Family?
Do you have reason to suspect that you or your children may have inherited mutations?
If one or both of your parents developed cancer at a young age (usually under 50), or if you or the other parent of your children was diagnosed with cancer fairly early…
Then the answer is…
You and/or your children would benefit from inherited mutation testing.
Because it will put the power back into your hands.
What to Do
If it turns out that you, or your child, do have any inherited cancer-related mutations…
Our research scientist and cancer expert, Alex Rolland, typically recommends getting an annual MRI. If anything suspicious appears on the MRI, then you should get a PET/CT scan immediately and take it from there.
If nothing appears on the MRI, then no worries! You can rest easy for another year.
Getting annual MRI monitoring will simply ensure that if the inherited mutation starts to become cancerous at any point in time, you will detect it at an extremely early stage.
And detecting hereditary cancer early is the very best way of ensuring treatment success.
Simply put, cancer is a time-based disease. The earlier you spot it, the easier it is to treat.
Treatment success is based on two fundamental things: Speed + accuracy.
Knowing about any inherited mutations now will give you the very best chance of keeping you, or your children, as healthy as possible.
Sometimes it can feel easier to put off doing a test like this…
Maybe a part of you doesn’t even want to know the answer, especially if it’s related to yourself or a loved one. I can understand this.
And, I want to gently remind you that…
Early detection is the very best way to beat cancer.
We’re not often given the choice about how hard cancer hits us, or when.
But with inherited mutation testing, you can take back control over future cancer.
So if you have any reason to believe that cancer runs in your family, or that you may pass it on to your children, I invite you to consider getting inherited mutation testing.
It may feel scary at first, but the confidence and ownership you will feel over your health, and that of your loved ones, is oh so worth it.on February 6, 2022