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It's all in the genes

Genetics play a major role in our health and wellbeing.

Just as they determine hair colour and personality, genes also influence what medical conditions are passed down from our parents.

Faulty genes can trigger health problems including growth disorders, heart conditions and cancer.


VickiKiesel BW.jpgAccording to Vicki Kiesel, a Genetics Counsellor at The Wellington Hospital, the likelihood of cancer being inherited is very low. However, genetic counselling can reassure people who are concerned about the risk. It can answer questions such as, ‘Am I and my children at risk?’ and ‘What can I do to detect or reduce my risk?’

‘They might be warried because their mother had breast cancer at the age of 60.

But if it’s genetic then the cancer usually emerges earlier than this. And you have to remember that one in eight women will get breast cancer anyway’.

So what does genetic counselling and testing involve?

First, you will be sent a questionnaire about your family’s medical history, followed by an appointment.

A typical session with Vicki takes an hour during which she will explain the underlying causes of cancer and carry out a risk assessment.

This involves taking a detailed medical history of both yourself and your family to determine your likelihood of inheriting cancer.

If the risk scope for score for cancer is high, The Wellington Hospital will offer genetic testing in the form of blood test.

They use a test called Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), which enables doctors to look at multiple genes in short period of time.

The test will check for mutations or changes in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the genes most commonly linked with breast and ovarian cancer.

All women have BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. However, around one in ten of all cancers are triggered by a fault in them.

The full article is available at HCA Good Health Magazine, p.38-39  It's  all in the GENES

GeneHealth UK (part of Check4Cancer Ltd.) hold regular clinics at The Wellington Hospital’s Platinum Medical Centre. For more information or to book an appointment, call 0800 331 7177 or visit www.GeneHealthUK.com

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