You might have wondered why children get cancer…
It’s a very fair question – after all, we know that many cancers are influenced by lifestyle factors. Things like smoking or obesity can indeed impact your chance of getting cancer over time…but not when you’re, say, 5 years old.
So why do some kids end up suffering from cancer?
Our cancer expert, Alex Rolland, explains in this video below.
Why childhood cancer occurs
Here’s a quick rule of thumb, according to Alex:
If someone has been diagnosed with cancer under the age of 50, it’s almost certain that they’ve inherited a cancer-related genetic mutation.
In other words, they were born with it.
And it could either be a germline mutation (aka something passed down from a parent / family DNA), or it could be a somatic mutation, which means something went awry during the gene formation (usually just bad luck).
The good news is that we have many ways of testing for this and finding the right treatment immediately!
So for families with a history of cancer, we recommend that the kids get tested for inherited germline mutations.
Because if we know about it before it becomes a problem, we can prevent it from becoming one.
How? By doing a simple blood draw once per year. (Don’t worry, it’s affordable and easy.)
How liquid biopsy can help prevent childhood cancer
Annual monitoring with liquid biopsy allows us to track the amount of ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA) in a person’s bloodstream. If we see that the mutation is starting to cause problems, we can start you on the correct treatment immediately, and it’s extremely likely that the treatment will be effective since the cancer will had barely had time to grow.
Catching cancer as early as possible will always give you and your family the best chance of turning it into a manageable condition versus a deadly one.
If you have any questions, or want to find out more about inherited mutation testing, please reach out.
Proactive prevention is worth it!on August 26, 2020