Genetic Testing For Cancer

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ketziah35
ketziah35 Member Posts: 1,145
edited July 2011 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Since my dad had bladder cancer, mom had colon cancer, my maternal grandma had ovarian cancer, my paternal grandma had lung cancer, and my great aunt had lung cancer, plus a host of cousins that had cancer, my ob/gyn recommended that I have genetic testing to mitigate for any risks.

She said that my insurance would pay for the additional tests (ex. MRI's on breasts instead of straight mammograms.)

What do you think about this?

Comments

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
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    ketziah35 -

    I guess I'm becoming well-known for my apparent paranoia
    and cynicism, but my feelings are usually proved through
    the test of time.

    Insurance companies have never been known to "give away"
    anything; every move, every "offer", is carefully calculated to
    bring financial gains.

    A "genetic test" that indicates one is highly susceptible to cancer,
    will pop a neat red flag up over your name; one that's easy to
    see by any company you are seeking to insure yourself with,
    to gain a credit account with, or to gain employment with.

    A list of those that are genetically susceptible to a terminal
    disease would be worth it's weight in gold to any company
    wishing to protect it's financial interests.

    Now, what is the test worth to you? Will it create worry and
    fear, and perhaps cause you ill health with the stress it will
    create if it is "positive"?

    Cancer is an insidious disease that knows no bounds. Very
    healthy, well-to-do, very happy, and even those deep into
    the belief in their God to protect them, get cancer anyway.

    Sick individuals with poor sanitary habits, living on the edge
    of despair, live long lives without cancer.

    So what good is the "test"? You can test "positive" genetically,
    yet never get cancer, or test negative and end up here, posting
    to others in the same boat.

    As a quick side analogy:

    The insurance companies offered free home inspections to
    let you know if your home met the latest hurricane specifications.
    If your home passed, you could get a dramatic discount on
    your home insurance.

    I refused the "offer". My neighbor went for it. He thought I was
    crazy for turning down a "free inspection" that could save me
    hundreds of bucks a year.

    They cancelled his insurance after the "inspection", since his
    home did not conform to any of the latest hurricane specifications.
    A new policy's cost was outrageous, so he insured the contents
    only.... He moved away last month.

    "There ain't nuttin' in life that's free".
    (that's just my cynical opinion)

    Best of health,

    John
  • Buckwirth
    Buckwirth Member Posts: 1,258 Member
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    John23 said:

    ketziah35 -

    I guess I'm becoming well-known for my apparent paranoia
    and cynicism, but my feelings are usually proved through
    the test of time.

    Insurance companies have never been known to "give away"
    anything; every move, every "offer", is carefully calculated to
    bring financial gains.

    A "genetic test" that indicates one is highly susceptible to cancer,
    will pop a neat red flag up over your name; one that's easy to
    see by any company you are seeking to insure yourself with,
    to gain a credit account with, or to gain employment with.

    A list of those that are genetically susceptible to a terminal
    disease would be worth it's weight in gold to any company
    wishing to protect it's financial interests.

    Now, what is the test worth to you? Will it create worry and
    fear, and perhaps cause you ill health with the stress it will
    create if it is "positive"?

    Cancer is an insidious disease that knows no bounds. Very
    healthy, well-to-do, very happy, and even those deep into
    the belief in their God to protect them, get cancer anyway.

    Sick individuals with poor sanitary habits, living on the edge
    of despair, live long lives without cancer.

    So what good is the "test"? You can test "positive" genetically,
    yet never get cancer, or test negative and end up here, posting
    to others in the same boat.

    As a quick side analogy:

    The insurance companies offered free home inspections to
    let you know if your home met the latest hurricane specifications.
    If your home passed, you could get a dramatic discount on
    your home insurance.

    I refused the "offer". My neighbor went for it. He thought I was
    crazy for turning down a "free inspection" that could save me
    hundreds of bucks a year.

    They cancelled his insurance after the "inspection", since his
    home did not conform to any of the latest hurricane specifications.
    A new policy's cost was outrageous, so he insured the contents
    only.... He moved away last month.

    "There ain't nuttin' in life that's free".
    (that's just my cynical opinion)

    Best of health,

    John

    John is correct
    IF you insure yourself (vs through an employer). In that case, the genetic testing could be an issue, assuming you were not already sitting on a previous cancer dx (like most of the rest of us on this board) in which case you were already screwed.

    In the coming years, there will be more options for those of us with pre-existing conditions, but today you can still be denied for individual plans.

    Your employer is not allowed to ask, or to research, ANYTHING about your medical conditions unless you bring them up. HIPPA is your friend here, along with a slew of employment laws like the ADA.

    NEVER tell your homeowners insurance about repairs or damages if you are not making a claim. They will use it against you (water damage being the most egregious, due to the fear of mold).
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
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    UP? It didn't have a chance to go anywhere ;-)
    I would go for it. It is PRIVATE information and there is a family history of cancer for you. I would want a head's up. The tests won't determine definitively if you WILL or will NOT get cancer but it could be a great opportunity to make dietary changes or whatever else you can do to prevent having to go through the joy of cancer ;-)

    I did have genetic testing done at one point. My sister had breast cancer after my DX which thankfully was caught at stage 0 and she's fine but I was more concerned about my kids. Since it came back negative, they can relax a little (just a little) but it gave me peace of mind knowing that the odds are not stacked against them from the start.

    That's what I think about it.
    -phil
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030 Member
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    PhillieG said:

    UP? It didn't have a chance to go anywhere ;-)
    I would go for it. It is PRIVATE information and there is a family history of cancer for you. I would want a head's up. The tests won't determine definitively if you WILL or will NOT get cancer but it could be a great opportunity to make dietary changes or whatever else you can do to prevent having to go through the joy of cancer ;-)

    I did have genetic testing done at one point. My sister had breast cancer after my DX which thankfully was caught at stage 0 and she's fine but I was more concerned about my kids. Since it came back negative, they can relax a little (just a little) but it gave me peace of mind knowing that the odds are not stacked against them from the start.

    That's what I think about it.
    -phil

    I believe you can be tested
    I believe you can be tested and should be tested. Insurance companies want to catch cancer before it metastasizes. Insurance Companies can't discriminate against you. Do it!
  • relaxoutdoors08
    relaxoutdoors08 Member Posts: 521 Member
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    Genetic Testing
    I share your same questions. When diagnosed with colon cancer in October 2010, my health history only showed one Aunt who died from ovarian cancer. Since that time, two cousins in their 40's dx breast cancer, one cousin dx with ovarian cancer, and one cousin age 48 died of lung cancer(smoked). My oncologist said my colon cancer started in my 50's so may not be genetic. My cousins whose mother died of ovarian cancer both dx with breast cancer in their 40's did genetic testing and neg. for Brac1,Brac2 but positive for 3 other genetic markers for breast cancer so both elected double masectomies and chemo. My cousin who has ovarian cancer is being tested gentically so I will learn more from her results.

    Otherwise, gentic testing means if positive then need a good surveillance plan and children to start colonoscopies earlier and go in for testing if symptoms.

    What genetic tests are they recommending?
    NB