Families dealing with multiple cases of cancer can go through long battles, early deaths, and a lot of heartbreak. When it appears that cancer has passed down through the family, it's important for family members to take preventive steps so the cancer doesn't return in the future. One way to do this is with Next Gen Sequencing. This type of sequencing provides fast and detailed DNA results for members of your family. By learning about the benefits of this testing for familial pancreatic cancer, you can take the proper steps to help prepare for your future. Learning information can go a long way in preparing you for any type of testing you may need.
Understanding Familial Pancreatic Cancer
Anyone can get pancreatic cancer. The cancer is rare, but it is not just a hereditary disease. Only a small percentage of patients with pancreatic cancer will be categorized as having familial pancreatic cancer, also referred to as FPC. One of the ways to tell if you are at risk for FPC is if multiple direct relatives were diagnosed with the cancer. For example, if one of your parents was and one your grandparents was, then you may be more at risk for the disease. By recognizing this, you can not only test yourself, but any living relatives with the cancer can be also be tested to help match and recognize DNA markers.
Next Gen Testing Procedure
The Next Gen sequencing test procedure is extremely on your hand. It is either done through a saliva or blood sample and sent to a lab. This is where the lab comes in. The lab will used advanced processing to break down the DNA, get it fully tested, and process the results. The testing is typically ordered through a doctor rather than you going directly to the company. This way, the doctor can read the results, interpret them, and understand exactly what came up in your DNA sequencing. Because of the fast servicing from this type of DNA testing, you can typically expect results to come in less than a week. This time varies based on business hours, shipping, holidays, and the work load they are currently dealing with. An estimated time will typically be given at the point where you deliver the sample.
FPC Markers and Codes
Like most cancers, the exact causes and risk factors from FPC are not fully understood. They still have been able to recognize several markers that may come through testing. These markers are the key things to look for during this type of next gen testing and the results will automatically highlight them if they appear. For example, gene sequences like "BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, CDKN2A, ATM, STK11" have all been linked to various forms of FPC from people who have been diagnosed with it. As the research exapnds and continues, more markers will be added to the list so you can know your true risk-factors with the disease. When getting this testing, you don't even have to know the codes. The company and your doctor can figure all of it out and explain it to you as needed.
The main benefit of receiving next gen sequencing is to create a path to follow for future treatments. By recognizing any DNA markers you may have, a doctor can proceed with more cautious testing and scans. For example, you may get your pancreas scanned at least once a year to check for any changes. This will typically be done through some type of MRI. You may also give blood tests every six months to a year to check for any changes. This is all to help prevent any issues.
Talk to a doctor about getting these tests done as needed. It can make a huge difference on the treatment and diagnosis of FPC.