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Genetics and Cancer Risk: The Pros and Cons of Early Testing

Publication: Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler

Two years ago this month, in a landmark case for cancer prevention, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented. Since the court decision, companies have introduced new, lower priced genetic tests.

Also, new technology called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has expanded the array of cancer-associated genes that can be evaluated, with new test panels that can assess from four to more than 50 genes at one time. Costs range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

More genetic testing options offer the potential of early detection in patients with enhanced risk of developing colon, breast, uterine, ovarian and kidney cancer. Patients who know they harbor genetic abnormalities can work with their physicians to develop risk reduction and preventative strategies, which ultimately will save lives.

- Dr. Frank Ward, oncologist at Texas Oncology-Tyler.

This story originally appeared in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler. To view this story, please click here.

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