Genetic Testing

Our physicians follow the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for genetic testing. There are two types of genetic testing available if qualified.

  • 1. Germline testing- Germline testing is a simple blood test or saliva test which determines if you have inherited any gene mutations from your mother or father. This is done to determine inherited cancer risks. Based on the results of your germline testing, you may be referred to a genetic counselor to help you understand your results. A genetic counselor can help to tell you if other family members should also be testing.
  • 2. Somatic testing- Somatic testing is done to determine advanced treatment options like targeted therapies. Your physician may order genetic testing on your tumor tissue. This can be done by sending previous pathology samples, new targeted sample biopsies, and in some cases with a blood test.

The NCCN suggests that a man should consider genetic testing if he has a Gleason score of 7 or higher and at least one of the following:

  • 1. At least one close blood relative with breast or ovarian cancer at age 50 or younger, or
  • 2. At least two family members with breast, ovarian or prostate cancers (with Gleason score of 7 or higher) at any age.

Ask your physician if genetic testing is right for you.