'Knowledge is Power' in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer
Having the right understanding and information of a patient’s genetics can not only help treat cancer but also help prevent it.
BY Dr. Lauren Carcas
PUBLISHED March 20, 2020
Patients who are unsure about undergoing genetic testing but may have a genetic predisposition to cancer should consider the positive impact their results may have on their health, whether they have been diagnosed or not, according to Dr. Lauren Carcas.
Carcas, a medical oncologist from the Miami Cancer Institute, recently sat down with CURE® at the 37th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference® and CURE® Educated Patient Breast Cancer Summit to talk about the importance of genetic testing, and how it can inform treatment decisions in individuals with cancer.
I always argue that knowing family history is arguably one of the most important things to know about what your risk is for breast cancer. I think that genetic testing is a situation of “knowledge is power”.
If you know your risk, you can potentially take action to reduce that risk, potentially nearly eliminate that risk. But if you already have a diagnosis of breast cancer, it’s really important because that actually might impact your treatment decision.
Really, you have to be your own advocate, and part of advocating for yourself is knowing the total history and knowing the total diagnosis. Knowing that you have a gene mutation that is the underlying cause of your diagnosis is really important.