Learn More about Cancer Genetic Screening

Discover why testing is important for you

Watch this short animated video to learn more about JScreen’s cancer screen.

Knowing if you have a mutation in a cancer gene can save your life...

Everyone has genes that help prevent their bodies from developing cancer. We call these “cancer genes.” If there is a harmful mutation in one of these genes, it will not work properly, significantly increasing the risk for cancer.

You may want to consider cancer genetic testing – even if you are healthy – because the results may alert you to possible cancer risks before symptoms develop.

Those who test positive may take steps to prevent cancer from developing, or to detect it at an early, treatable stage.

…and the lives of your loved ones

Men and women with a mutation in a cancer gene have a 50% chance of passing down the mutation to each of their children. In other words, if you test positive for a mutation, your children, siblings, and other relatives may also be at risk to have a cancer gene mutation. For this reason, mutation carriers are encouraged to share their results with relatives.

The GINA law protects against employment and health insurance discrimination based on genetic information. The law applies to most businesses with 15+ employees as well as most health insurance providers. However, if you do have a positive result and apply for other types of insurance, such as life and disability, you may be subject to higher premiums or exclusion from coverage. You might consider getting your insurance plans in place before you test. Exceptions and information about the GINA law can be found at www.ginahelp.org.

Testing complete. Now what?

There are three possible types of results:
1. Positive:

There is a mutation in a gene that increases the chance for certain types of cancer. While mutations increase cancer risk, not everyone with a mutation will develop cancer.

2. Negative:

No disease-causing mutations were found in the genes that were tested. Continue to follow recommendations for routine cancer screening.

3. Variant of uncertain significance:

There is a genetic variation that has an unknown impact on cancer risk and does not warrant changes to medical management. Often, these variants are found to be harmless.

What happens if you test positive?

If you learn you have a mutation in a cancer gene, there are many ways to maintain your health and to impact the health of your family. Our genetic counselors will walk you through your options and will follow-up with your health-care provider.

Options May Include:

  • Increased and/or more frequent cancer screening (for example, mammogram, colonoscopy, prostate exam, skin cancer screening)

  • Preventative risk-reducing surgeries (for example, mastectomy, removal of colon)

  • Lifestyle modifications (for example, reduced alcohol consumption)

  • Assisted reproductive technologies to avoid passing down mutations to your future children (for example, in-vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic testing)

If you test positive for a mutation, you’ll be able to inform your relatives, who may also be at-risk. Complimentary testing for your mutation may be available for your relatives.