Cancer runs in family. Should I get genetic testing?

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Trieu Nguyen
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/1/2018 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
My family has a long history of members having cancer. I have two aunts who passed away because of breast cancers (one on my mother and the other on my father's side). My grandpa also died because of colon cancer. My mom found a small polyp in her colon 4 years back and another one in her stomach just last year. Both lumps were surgically removed and the doctors said that my mom is okay now, just needs to be "more cautious". My dad is still going strong but with his smoking, I doubt that he would be alright when he gets a bit older.
I look at my family and I'm scared, actually. So I've been doing research and am considering genetic testing. But I still don't understand it completely. I mean, hơ can a blood test helps me find my cancer risk? Plz help me clarify on this.

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 6/2/2018 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Trieu & welcome to the forum. I guess my first question is, have you discussed the testing with your doctor to get his or her input? There are many online sources that discuss this testing & ultimately it will be up to you whether you want to spend the money on the test. My understanding is there is certain criteria that must be met before insurance will cover the cost.

The big question is this, are you doing this for peace of mind? What IF the test came back that you have a greater potential of developing cancer, can you live with that? I would do some more deep soul searching before making a decision one way or the other. Above all, I would discuss this with my dr before doing anything.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Trieu Nguyen
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/2/2018 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I did discuss with my doctor but this kind of test is still new in Vietnam, where I currently live. There are very few places that have genetic testings. Most of the public (and private) hospitals haven't considered ỏ incorporated the genetic aspect into their operations, so many of what I know is from the internet. Most of the private agencies in my country where I have contacted did not provide me with thorough information. There was only this one place that gave me a "good enough" answer but their main goal is still to sell me the test anyway.

Yeah, I guess it would be scary to know that I might have a higher chance of developing cancer but I still want to know so I can do some adjusting to my life and all. I've always been the type who would rather have the bandage ripped off immediately than to endure the unknown forever.

So I'm looking for facilities in the Asian region, maybe in Singapore or Japan to be tested. If any one happens to know a good facility in Asia, (Australia is okay, too) I would appreciate the recommendation.

Best,
Trieu Nguyen
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BTW, the place I mentioned is called Asia Genomics/asia-genomics.vn/tin-tuc/tu-van-di-truyen-suc-khoe-gia-dinh if anyone has any info. Thanks

Post Edited (Trieu Nguyen) : 6/2/2018 8:55:51 AM (GMT-6)


Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3565
   Posted 6/2/2018 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
The genetic testing for breast cancer is one that looks for the BRCA gene. If one was positive for this gene, then there is an approximate 85% chance of developing either breast or ovarian cancer. Some people will then opt to prophylactically choose to have breasts and ovaries surgically removed in order to prevent cancer in these organs/structures.

This is controversial and often health insurance doesn’t pay for either the testing or the preventative surgery.

I’m sorry I can’t help with any places to try for testing.
Diagnosed with MS July 2006, Breast cancer 2017

I have no lesions on my soul and so I live with no limits.

Trieu Nguyen
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/5/2018 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gretchen,

Thank you for the inputs on breast cancer!
Can you tell me a little bit more about why it is controversial? I've always thought it's a legitimate type of testing and have never thought twice about it. Does this mean the results can't be trusted at times?

By any chance you know the average fee for the test in your country?

Again, many thanks.

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Trieu Nguyen

Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3565
   Posted 6/6/2018 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
It’s controversial because it isn’t an actual diagnosis. You might NOT develop cancer despite being at a higher risk. If you test positive and decide you want to prophylactically have your breast and ovaries removed, often insirance won’t pay. At the time of surgery you don’t have cancer. It’s silly but that’s often how insirance works.

This test runs about $300 in the United States.
Diagnosed with MS July 2006, Breast cancer 2017

I have no lesions on my soul and so I live with no limits.

Trieu Nguyen
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/11/2018 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks a lot Gretchen! I've never really thought about it like that (silly me!)

Wow, $300 is a lot! And not to mention the travel expenses. I still can't live with the potential risk, you know, like I'm hanging from a rope. I guess I'll have to find a trustworthy place in Asia or reconsider the whole thing.

Again, thank you everybody for your replies!

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Trieu Nguyen
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