At Home DNA Tests: Are They a Reliable Method for Cancer Screening?

Up until recently, genetic testing for cancer had to be performed by a medical professional – but that’s not the case anymore. Today, people concerned about their genetic health risks can have their DNA analyzed for health reasons, in the comfort of their own home.

23andMe, the company known for its spit-and-mail ancestry test, now offers FDA-approved genetic tests for cancer, which can be mailed directly to consumers. While there are other at-home genetic tests available, 23andMe is the first company that can offer this kind of testing without a doctor’s order.

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Categories: Genetic Testing

How Does Your Family’s History of Melanoma Affect You?

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It forms in the cells that produce melanin, which is the substance responsible for your skin's color. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun or tanning beds increases the risk of developing any skin cancer. In the case of melanoma, experts say there's also a strong link between family genetics and your risk of developing melanoma. 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Screening, Genetic Testing, Skin Cancer

Genetic vs Genomic Testing: What’s the Difference?

Although the terms “genetic” and “genomic” are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different. Learning more about the differences between them can help clear up some of the confusion we often see related to hereditary genes linked to developing cancer.

Genetic Testing  

Genetics usually refers to the study of specific, individual genes and whether they are passed from one generation to the next. Cancer researchers have studied hereditary gene mutations (changes) that can play a role in the development of cancer.  

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Categories: Genetic Testing

Kidney Cancer Treatments are Improving in 2018

Since March was Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, it inspired us to share a closer look at this disease that is among the top 10 most common cancers in men and women. Let us share with you some encouraging news about the latest advances in both understanding kidney cancer and the development of new treatment options.

Understanding Kidney Cancer Better

The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In most cases, RCC is diagnosed in older people who are typically age 64 or older. It is very uncommon to see kidney cancer in people younger than age 45.

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Categories: Cancer Treatment, Genetic Testing, Kidney Cancer

5 Common Cancer Myths Debunked

The internet can be an extremely useful tool for people seeking information on specific healthcare topics like cancer. And while there is a lot of data out there to be read, it is important to keep in mind that not all online sources offer reliable information. We’ve come a long way when it comes to understanding cancer--yet many myths and misconceptions continue to leave people confused and searching for answers. Busting these cancer myths, and learning more about what has actually been proven, is a great way to get people closer to truly understanding this complex group of diseases known as cancer.

Here are 5 commonly held myths about cancer: 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Cancer Screening, Genetic Testing

Why Is Genetic Testing Important for Cancer Research?

It’s common for cancer patients and their families to feel helpless, as if their futures and those of their loved ones are entirely dependent on physicians and medications. Genetic testing is one way for cancer patients and their relatives to regain a sense of control over the disease, and make a valuable contribution toward improving its detection, treatment and prevention.

One of the most effective ways for cancer researchers to learn why a type of cancer occurs (an important step in discovering treatments) is to study the genes of patients and those who share their DNA profile.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Risk, Genetic Testing, Lung Cancer

Do Men Need to See a Genetic Counselor?

Some individuals are born with genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer during their lifetime. These mutations may be inherited from either a mother or a father. While simply having a genetic mutation does not mean you will definitely get cancer, it does increase your risk. The good news is lifestyle alterations, medication and preventive surgery can reduce the risk for developing hereditary cancer.

Compass Oncology’s groundbreaking Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing (GREAT) program is a leader in personalized cancer-risk reduction. Our goal is to guide you through the often confusing process of deciding if genetic testing is appropriate and help you determine if you have a genetic mutation that puts you at risk for cancer.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Genetic Testing, Ovarian Cancer

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