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Genetic Testing for Cancer Treatment

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

Genetic testing for cancer treatment is an invaluable resource for cancer care. It helps cancer care specialists at The START Center for Cancer Care identify the most effective, individualized treatment for those living with cancer. Our specialists look for specific inherited mutations in your chromosomes, genes and proteins. If harmful mutations are found, your doctor will be able to identify and design appropriate, effective care. Genetic testing allows cancer care doctors to skip treatments that are unlikely to succeed, often sparing patients weeks of ineffective medications and side effects.

How does genetic testing work?

When your doctor requests genetic testing, you will be asked to give a blood sample or agree to a mouthwash to collect saliva. Both of these methods help your doctor collect the DNA samples they need for testing. Cancer care specialists then analyze your sample by looking for gene mutations that have contributed or may contribute to cancer. Genetic testing may also help determine if your cancer is due to an inherited gene mutation, or if you are at risk of developing a second cancer in the future.

Who should have genetic testing?

Genetic testing may be recommended if you have certain diseases or patterns of disease in your family. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, you might consider genetic testing.

  1. Do you have several immediate family members with cancer (e.g., mother, father, sisters, brothers)?

  2. Do you have many people on one side of the family with the same type of cancer?

  3. Do you have close relatives with cancers that are linked to rare hereditary cancer syndromes?

  4. Do you have a family member that had a type of cancer at a younger age than is considered normal?

  5. Do you have a family member with more than one type of cancer?

Find out about your cancer risk and get effective, individualized care. We are the first cancer-treatment provider in South Texas to offer comprehensive genetic testing, which is key to providing state-of-the-art, individualized cancer treatment. For more information about genetic testing and to find out of it is right for you, contact The START Center for Cancer Care at 210-745-6841.


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