Genetic Testing Saves Lives

Live A Proactive Life. Know The Risks

Genetic Testing Leads To Life-Saving Interventions

What would you do if you knew you had a genetic predisposition to cancer? Would you live differently? Genetic testing can help you take a proactive approach to your health. Make informed decisions about your health. It’s Better To Know.

These days, medicine has evolved to become more precise. Genetic tests are incredibly valuable for people who come from families where certain cancers or diseases are prevalent. Some of us have a higher than average risk of developing these illnesses- especially cancers associated with hereditary cancer syndromes (HCS).

Why Get Genetic Testing?

If cancer or other diseases run in your family, getting a DNA test or genetic test can help you understand your risks. Knowing these risks helps you make the necessary life changes to remain healthy. Knowledge is power. We can help you chart a path that’s right for you. Order a genetic test from us today.

Keep in mind, the results of your genetic test do not diagnose cancer or any other illness. The information provided doesn’t even indicate that you will get sick. It simply means that you carry a genetic variant that carries an increased risk of developing these illnesses. Better To Know helps you understand your risks.

What Genetic Testing Looks For

Better To Know uses an Inherited Cancer Genetics (ICGx) test which uses next-generation sequencing to look for pathogenic, or disease-causing, genetic variants in 38 genes. Our targeted sequencing approach provides depth and breadth, facilitating actionable insight towards personalized care. We offer multiple panel selections, including a comprehensive panel that covers 20 different types of cancer. Our panels are categorized based on cancer type(s).

Types Of Cancer Our Genetic Testing Examines

Our ICGx Panels offer 9 cancer-type specific panels as well as a comprehensive panel. Here are the specific gene variants we look for under each cancer:

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Breast Cancer

Genes Tested: ATM, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, CDH1, CHEK2, MRE11A, MUTYH, NBN, NF1, PALB2, PTEN, RAD50, RAD51C, STK11, TP53

HCS: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), neurofibromatosis type 1, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS), PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome (PHTS) spectrum

Female Reproductive Tract Cancers

Genes Tested: BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, PTEN, RAD51C, RAD51D, STK11

HCS: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), Lynch Syndrome, Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS), PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) spectrum

Gastric Cancers

Genes Tested: APC, BMPR1A, CDH1, EPCAM, FANCC, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, SMAD4, STK11

HCS: Classic and attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis syndromes (FAP and AFAP), Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS), Lynch syndrome*, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS)

Lung Cancer

Genes Tested: STK11, TP53

HCS: Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS)

Melanoma

Genes Tested: CDK4, CDKN2A, PTEN

HCS: Familial malignant melanoma, PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) spectrum

Pancreatic Cancer

Genes Tested: APC, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A, EPCAM, MEN1, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALLD, PMS2, STK11, TP53, VHL

HCS: Classic and attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis syndromes (FAP and AFAP), familial malignant melanoma, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), Lynch syndrome*, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type I (MEN1), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS), von Hippel-Lindau syndrome

Prostate Cancer

Genes Tested: BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, ELAC2, NBN, TP53

HCS: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), hereditary prostate cancer, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS)

Renal Cancer

Genes Tested: APC, BMPR1A, EPCAM, MET, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, PTEN, SMAD4, TP53, VHL.

HCS: Classic and attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis syndromes (FAP and AFAP), Constitutional Mismatch Repair Deficiency Syndrome (CMMRD), Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), Hereditary Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma (HPRC), Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS), Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), Lynch syndrome*, MUTYH-associated Polyposis syndrome (MAP), PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS), von Hippel-Lindau syndrome

Tumor Syndromes

Genes Tested: FANCC, HRAS, PTCH1, RET

HCS: Costello syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Gorlin syndrome (also known as Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome, or NBCCS), Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type II (MENII)

Comprehensive

Covers all genes and all cancer syndromes listed above

Stop Wondering!

Not All Cancers Are Created Equal

It’s a simple fact that most cancers are non-hereditary mutations in the cells that occur over a person’s lifetime. That is why cancers tend to develop in older individuals. These mutations are often caused by environmental factors and errors in DNA replication that occur over the course of normal cell division.

 

Sometimes cancers may appear to run in a family. When this occurs it’s important to distinguish between shared environmental factors (which cause mutations) and shared genetic causes (or inherited mutations). Both environmental and genetic factors interact to influence cancer predisposition risk.

It’s estimated that approximately 5-10% of cancers are attributed to inherited genetics. In these cases, cancers that occur frequently within a family are due to pathogenic genetic variants that are passed down through multiple generations.

When someone is born with an inherited pathogenic variant, they are more likely to develop cancer at an earlier age than someone without an inherited gene. Depending on the type of variant, he or she may also be more likely to develop multiple types of cancer. Identification of these mutations is essential in determining one’s cancer risk and being proactive.

How To Assess Your Risk For Cancer

Most healthcare professionals recommend that you explore your risk for cancer while you’re still healthy. This proactive approach lets you manage more of the risk factors.

The first step in understanding your risks for cancer would be to take a cancer risk assessment that looks at an individual’s personal and family history of cancer as well as lifestyle factors.

There are a variety of ways to collect this information, but one option is the Surgeon General’s “My Family Health Portrait”. This is a free Internet-based tool that’s straightforward to use.

A tool like this can give you more information about whether or not genetic testing is right for you.

When Is Genetic Testing For Cancer A Good Idea?

While anyone is free to get genetic testing, there are certain groups of people that should definitely consider cancer screening. Some of these groups include:

  • Individuals who are aware of a strong personal or family history of cancer
  • People who are unaware of their family history (i.e. adopted individuals)
  • Anyone who belongs to an ethnic group that has an increased risk for cancer (i.e. Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)

How Do I Know If I’m At Risk For Cancer?

Outside of taking an online risk assessment or undergoing an interview with a healthcare provider, there are some basic things to look for to help you assess your risk for cancer. If your risk assessment has multiple indicators suggestive of a hereditary cancer syndrome (HCS), a genetic test may help further define your genetic risk and act as a uniquely informative component to a complete cancer risk assessment. Such indicators include:

  • A personal history of cancer- if you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer before
  • A history of cancer in your family especially if:
    • You have 3 or more relatives on one side of the family with the same type of cancer
    • You have 2 or more relatives on one side of the family that were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 50
    • You have a single genetically related family member that had 2 or more types of cancer
    • You have a relative with a pathogenic variant associated with a hereditary cancer.
  • A personal or family history of:
    • Unusual cases of cancer- such as male breast cancer
    • A presence of birth defects such as benign skin growth and/or skeletal abnormalities
  • You belong to an ethnic group that is at a higher risk for hereditary cancer (i.e. Ashkenazi Jews)

HCS Is Linked To Multiple Cancer Types & Early Age Onset

Most hereditary cancers involve a diagnosis before the age of 50 in multiple family members. It’s also relatively common to see multiple types of cancer with HCS. For example, people with a strong history of breast and ovarian cancer in their family may be at an elevated risk for developing prostate or pancreatic cancer. Results from our genetic testing can help you better understand which types of cancer you have an increased risk for based upon the genetic variants we see.

Cancer Risks Can Vary

It goes without saying, but your genetic makeup is an incredibly complex puzzle. A single HCS can be caused by pathogenic variants in several different genes. For example, Lynch syndrome is a type of inherited cancer syndrome that is associated with an increased risk of colorectal, endometrial, stomach and ovarian cancers. Knowing that you carry the genes for this syndrome can be invaluable when it comes to preventative care and monitoring options.

Genetic Testing: How To Save A Life

It’s a simple fact that knowing your genetic makeup can help you make important life decisions that can prolong your life. We’re convinced it’s Better To Know. Let us help you discover the truth about yourself and make informed decisions. Order one of our genetic testing kits today.

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Better To Know is a division of LifeBrite Laboratories

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 All our samples are processed in a top-level, national reference laboratory. Our lab is CLIA certified and COLA accredited. This means we are held to the highest standards for all of our policies and procedures. This is why the medical community trusts our results.

Our team has decades of experience and a strong commitment to accuracy as well as excellence. We are dedicated to giving you the results you need to improve your life.

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