All of us have a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of cancer, but some common cancers – breast, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and ovarian – are known to occur more frequently in families, passing from one generation to the next.
This is because certain gene mutations can be inherited. Perhaps the most commonly talked about are the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, where mutations can indicate increased risk of developing breast, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and ovarian cancers.
This package provides you with two unique cancer tests that will check different elements of your genetic make up to identify your risk of developing cancers.
Polygenic Risk test
Focusing specifically on Males or Females, this test will check over 3,000 tiny changes in your DNA which, when combined, can make you more susceptible genetically to developing cancer. It will provide an easy to understand score, called a Polygenic Risk Score, which will tell you whether those genetic changes have made you more susceptible to cancers, and what your likelihood is of developing those cancers in the next 10 years, compared to the rest of the population.
This test will check risk of Breast, Bowel (Colorectal) and Skin cancer in women, and Prostate, Colorectal and Skin cancer in men.
Full Gene test
This 30 gene Cancer test examines your BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, plus an additional 28 full genes which are specifically recognised as being linked to increased risk of various cancers if mutated. The test will look at the 30 full genes, identifying any mutations or changes that may make you more likely to develop cancer.
This test will check for risk of cancers including breast, skin, pancreas, prostate, ovaries, womb, colorectal and stomach.
Why take a test?
Knowing you have a genetic mutation enables you to make sure you have regular check-ups and screenings.
Many mutations are known to be hereditary: if you have a mutation, there is a 50% chance that your brothers and sisters – and your children will have it too.
Understanding your genetic disposition can help you monitor your health, change your lifestyle or diet and protect yourself and your family.
How does this test work?
After you have paid for your test package, we will register you with the laboratory and you will receive an email with a link to complete an online form to provide medical information about yourself and any known family history of cancer.
You’ll then receive two kits in the post with clear instructions on giving your saliva sample together with all the paperwork you need to sign, which you then post back to us for analysis. You only need to provide a spit (saliva) sample in the test tube provided – no blood is required.
One sample will be used to check your small, individual genetic changes to identify any possible combination risks for cancer, whilst the other will look at 30 specific full genes to identify changes in those which can cause hereditary cancer.
Your samples will be sequenced and your genes analysed. Your reports will be generated and sent to you, approximately 3-4 weeks after receipt of your kits in the laboratory.
Polygenic Risk Test
This test will provide you with your individual risk score of cancer compared to the rest of the population.
It will also provide you with a score showing the likelihood of developing the specific cancers test for, in the next 10 years.
Finally, it will include a risk assessment for the cancers compared to a man or woman of your age with average genetic risk.
Full Gene Test – Positive results
A positive result does NOT mean you have cancer, or that you will definitely develop it.
It does means that a mutation, or genetic change, has been identified in a specific gene that increases the chance of your developing certain cancers in your lifetime – and your personal results will provide more detailed information specific to you.
There may also be implications for other members of your family – and this will also be discussed with you.
Full Gene Test – Negative results
A negative result means that no mutations or genetic changes associated with an increased risk of the most common hereditary cancers were identified in the genes that were analysed.
The result does not eliminate your risk of developing cancer completely as there are other factors, such as lifestyle, or perhaps mutations not detected by current technology or mutations in other genes.
Again, all this will be discussed with you.
Full Gene Test – Variant of uncertain significance
This is where a gene mutation has been found, but at present we do not know if this affects your risk of certain cancers.
Our scientists use state-of-the-art techniques to classify variants according to American College of Genetics and Genomics guidelines.
All clinically actionable variants (i.e. factors like pathogenic and likely pathogenic – in other words able to, or likely to cause a disease/condition) are confirmed using an alternative technology.
We understand that this can sound complex, so if your results show you have an actionable variant, this will be explained to you.
Will it show if I have cancer now?
Your results will not tell you whether you do or do not have cancer, or whether you will definitely develop cancer, but will help identify whether you should take additional measures to prevent cancer in the future.
If you are experiencing any symptoms that could indicate that you have cancer, we recommend speaking to your GP as soon as possible.