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Question of the Day: Genetic Testing Kits. Would you take the test?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

Would you take one of these Genetic Testing Kits to see if you were "at risk" for developing cancer or passing on some genetic disorder to your kids? I'm interested to hear what you all think of these. I'll have input later.
Thanks
-p

News Story. There are plenty of related stories on the web, just Google "Genetic Testing Kits" to read more.

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

I need a false positive, like I need another stoma.

(and who would want a false negative?)

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree with Jon.

-Pat

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Great question. At my age it’s all over but the shouting anyway so I would not spend the money. You have to play with the hand you get dealt.

I think I would before having kids. A dear friend has a gene that is like one in 100,000. Her husband also had the gene. Their child is all messed up because of it.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6612
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm not sure that they are so reliable because too many factors could be involved to change the test. I don't think I want to know.

Kim

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Well Phil I will be honest. I wouldn't send for one of these genetic testing kits. On the other hand the genetic disorders that they do have tests for like some forms of breast cancer and other cancers I would do it.I would because if my kids could be tested early for something that they could prevent or get treated at an ealy stage and save there life it would be worth it. I really have thought alot about this because of me having MS. They do know that sometimes it runs in families. No one in my family has ever had it that I have knowledge of. I have a step son ( John's son and I feel he is mine also ) we have told him that he needs to be sceened for colon cancer earlier than 50. His doctor agreed because John was young to have it so bad. Our other son we adopted at birth. We don't know anything about his history as far as genetic's go. I sometimes wish we did have more information.
But to send away for a kit, no. Paula

biglaur's picture
biglaur
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2010

With a 28 and 30 year old I wanted to know if they were at greater risk (i.e. colonoscopies at say 40...rather than 50) I know it's not 100
% accurate but it did put my mind at ease a bit. Laurie

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I am already taking steps for my daughter....

My grandfather (mom's side) died from colon cancer, my mom had endometrial cancer (a possible offshoot of HNPCC), I had rectal cancer, my sister had anal cancer...

I've already done the numbers...lol! FOBT now, at 30, even tho her insurance denied...we paid the $75...and will, every year....

Awareness is the name of the game...even if there is no family history...any colon test, whether be it FOBT or colonoscopy, is better than no test!

Hugs, Kathi

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

I would NOT. It could cause you to make decisions that you might not make otherwise over something that may or may not happen to you. I have already heard of women who have the gene for one form of breast cancer have "preventive mastectomies" to remove both breasts even when no disease is present.
As it is now the boys know they will have to be tested in their late 30's/early 40's and to also make sure that they "know their $hit" so to speak.

I can also see this become like drug testing for job applicants.
It's not a good thing to mess with Mother Nature, she ALWAYS wins.

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

My mom used to say "To each his own". I'm sure she didn't make it up but none the less I have thought about that saying many, many times in my life. I guess this would apply. Thanks for putting this out here, Phil. You always make me laugh and think....Paula

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Re:
"I can also see this become like drug testing for job applicants"

Let's not forget the insurance industry that loves to know the odds of
all things. How great it would be, to have your rates raised, or be denied
insurance for being a "high risk" candidate since birth.

I'm not a "conspiracy theorist", just a realist with modest experience.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

That's just what I mean John, of course they'd raise rates or deny coverage

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

When I was recovering from my colon resection surgery they came to me asking if I wanted the tests. I had lost my mom, her mom, and one of my mom's cousins to colon cancer. I told them no I do not need the tests, I do not have kids and neither does my sister. I have talked with my Onc about the tests, he says I do no need them. I already know it runs in my family, I do not need tests to tell me this. The one good thing about not having kids, I do not worry about them getting this horrid disease from me. :(

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

My GI doc who did my original colonoscopy, which started this chapter in my life, has asked about this and is pursuing some genetic marker, the name I forget.

For me if I can identify a genetic disposition to colon cancer for my children, I would welcome the information and then assure they take proper steps to avoid my experience.

I hope to keep the results private.

Mike

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I agree with you, Mike. If I could find out whether or not my children might be in for trouble, I would do anything I could.

*hugs*
Gail

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

"I hope to keep the results private" whether that is possible or even reasonable to expect is questionable! Seems to me, as others have mentioned, the insurance companies are going to go after access to such testing so they can jack up rates for those showing a disposition. I can see wanting to know so you can prepare your children for a possible future of very close observation, but if the testing isn't even reliable enough to know for sure that you'll not get a false positive or false negative, is it really worth the risk? You get a false positive and are tagged for life as uninsurable and never get the disease after all. Or possibly worse, get a false negative and proceed to live your life without concern and discover advanced cancer at a later date than you would have otherwise. I think I would wait before the tests are more reliable. My daughters already know they need to begin testing at 30 and I will make sure they do just that, even if I have to pay for the tests myself! Neither of them want to go through what they've seen me go through!
mary

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

or SHOULD know that all of our kids have a high risk of developing colon cancer and that they should be tested at least 10 years prior to our age when we were diagnosed. It's the "supposed possibility" of other forms of cancer that concerns me. If you or someone else felt that they KNEW some form of cancer was inevitable then they could possibly not bother to go to college and do something with their lives or an older person might just blow all of their life savings because the test said they'd get (whatever) cancer. Then they do NOT get the cancer. Now you have a bunch of people who blew everything or never bother to live their lives to their fullest potential based on a possibility of cancer?

If I've said this once, I've said it a hundred times. We all have the same chance of dying of something other than cancer. Just driving to the doctors appointments poses great risks. Should they develop a test to see what the genetic chances of that is then deny those people a drivers licence?
Hmmm, OK, maybe it's not such a bad idea after all....
-p

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The lousy thing with cancer, is there's no known way to actually prevent it.

Knowing in advance that you are a higher than normal risk to get cancer,
isn't going to do much to prevent it from happening. Sure, you can get tests,
but it's already been proven that taking out a polyp or three isn't going to
give you better long-range chances; Cancer happens.

It should be kept in mind, that a cancer cell is nothing more than a normal
cell that's no longer responding to the body's instructions; it begins surviving
by the fermentation process, without -any- control.

Each good cell splits/divides in it's normal growing process, but if and
when the half that should have died and gotten carried off, instead continues
to live on it's own by it's own means....we call it cancer.

Trying to prevent cancer is futile, since nearly anything and everything can
be classified as a "contributing cause". Providing your body with what's
necessary to build a powerful immune system can help, but if your immune
system is having a problem understanding what cell doesn't belong, it's
not going to attack it.

Theoretically, just killing off cancer cells using chemicals and methods that
weaken the immune system is counterproductive. There's a lot of new
studies that seem to indicate that the chemicals given off during cancer cell
death can help the immune system learn what to attack. A weakened immune
system is often too weak to do the job, leaving the patient at the perils of
continued chemical therapy (or radiation) to do what the body can no longer
do........ and the end result of relying on other than our own body to
do the fighting is well understood.

So, knowing that there's a genetic glitch that could make you more susceptible
to a cancerous condition isn't going to be of much help. Giving your body a diet
that keeps your immune system at a high, healthy level, can help...

But eating and living well to keep our body in good shape should be done
anyway, genetics or not.

If you tried to avoid cancer by never getting out of bed, some study will
eventually show that cotton sheets are carcinogenic.

Live and eat; worry about cancer if and when it happens, but always try
to do what will help your immune system, regardless.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

"Theoretically, just killing off cancer cells using chemicals and methods that
weaken the immune system is counterproductive."
In actuality, many of us are living proof that chemo can help people beat cancer or live a long productive life with it.

I know you're not a fan of chemo at all John but often I feel like you totally discount chemo as having ANY benefit at all for people with cancer. I STRONGLY disagree with you on that. I do agree with you that there are other methods for fighting cancer like TCM or dietary changes that may work better or work as well but I doubt I will ever see you state that chemo HAS helped people beat cancer. I certainly do not want you to say something you do not truly believe just to satisfy me. Maybe it didn't help you but it has helped me and I think it's helped others.

I wish more studies were done on those alternatives. I think we know that there is not much money to be made in that for companies and therefore it's not researched nearly as strongly as it should be. It's comparable to trying to get the world off of fossil fuels and into things like wind, solar, or hydroelectric power. It ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

I think we all can agree that a good diet, exercise, and early detection are key to preventing cancer. But like you said John, those things should be done regardless of one's genetics. I do feel that knowing your family's medical history would be a more reliable that that test. Just wait until all of the lawsuits start rolling in down the road.

The only way to prevent cancer (or anything else for that matter) is to never be born and we don't get a say in that!
;-)
-p

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Chemo, herbs, or -any- method used to kill a cancer tumor, is perfectly fine.
Please don't misunderstand my position?

But...... if what's being done destroys the immune system to the point
that your body can no longer fight the cancer, or fight any associated
ills that comes with the fight against cancer, then it is counterproductive.

I had a friend that had just enough chemo treatments to kill the
tumor he had in his lung. His onco stopped, and gave his body
time to recuperate. His own body began killing the balance of the
tumor without help from "modern medicine". He's gone now, but
due to old age and a bad heart... His cancer never returned in the
8 or so years prior to his death.

When the doctors insist on continuous chemo, or radiation, and
your body is being damaged to the point you can barely remain alive,
the treatments are working against you. You end up fighting the
damaging treatments instead of the damaging cancer.

I have had too, too many friends die of the side effects and damage of
western medicine's cancer therapies. Second cancers from both Chemo
and radiation, illnesses from a weakened immune system that no medicine
could cure... Personally, I hate the thought of it all.

Using chemicals to kill a cancerous tumor can work wonders,
and radiation to kill a tumor also can work.. but so can freezing
the tumor, and so can oxygen injection into the tumor, and countless
of other ways that are at western medicine's disposal.

But regardless of the means of killing cancer masses, the body should
be able to recover quickly from the event. If that isn't happening, patients
should know enough to call it quits.

A cancer cell is very vulnerable to things that our normal cells can endure.
When we start killing more good cells than bad.... we have a problem.

It's not the drugs; the chemicals, it's their flippant application that I abhor.
Some doctors just don't know when to stop, and their patients are too scared
to realize when they can do without the bombardment of toxic chemicals.

(I can remember when rats were used to test to determine if cigarette smoke
could cause them to have cancer..... we speculated that perhaps cancer
in rats was hereditary and smoke had nothing to do with it) (gee, full circle)

(I probably typed that wrong again, huh?)

PS:
By the way Phil... that new picture you have.... well...
Does it appear to be a purple butt and slightly pornographic,
or are my herbs acting up?

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I think those herbs are a bit too strong, my dear!

Hugs, Kathi

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

for one of us to say "Jane, you ignorant ****" a la Dan Akeroyd and Jane Curtain from SNL back in the "old days".

I'm sure I just saw I HATE CHEMO even though it wasn't there. I'm a bit busy today but I'll read (or re-read) and I'm sure I'll have some comment.
-phil

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Re:
"I'm sure I just saw I HATE CHEMO even though it wasn't there."

No biggie! I still think I see a purple butt... Porno ala' Sal Dali ?

Seriously, I don't "hate" anything... (well... let's not get into far right-wing
politics....) (oh-ohh)..

I guess this forum gets to me some days; I think you mentioned it also.
We read about hopeful people suddenly having the rug yanked out, with
doctor's reports of things gone sour and cancer returning two-fold.

One night, after reading too many posts of things gone bad, I sat here
and cried like an old fool.

After reading so many sad posts, I opened a new email....

I have a forum friend who's insides are disintegrating. The radiation she
had to "cure" one thing, ruined another. She's had so much taken out of
her, it's a wonder she can remain alive at all. She's a late term IV, and
still trying to see another day. Her husband is showing all the signs of
severe trauma. I feel helpless, and I can imagine how her husband feels.

I sat here and wondered how it's going to be for me... My wife's
got enough problems, and I thought I'd be able to help her through
to eternity... Now I worry about her being alone, to fend for herself.

I often feel guilty for being here, since so many with the same type
of cancer have so many problems, and I've been so fortunate so far.

I don't take being here for granted, nor would I boast that "my way" is
better than the usual way; my number could be up at any time. There
just isn't any guaranteed way for surviving cancer.

If my wife was diagnosed with cancer, she alone would have to make
her choices regarding care. I wouldn't blame her for choosing the
western medicine route, if that's what she decided to do.

So no, Phil... I don't "hate" chemotherapy, I just hate the way it's
propagandized; the way it's promoted as the only way to go if
one expects to live after being diagnosed with cancer.

I wish they would give the real statistics to the individuals that
are seeking the best way to handle their cancer, instead of promoting
so much trust in what doesn't deserve that much trust.

Western medicine is only one viable route of many routes.

"You don't have to get worse before you get better."

(Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna' copy that pix for my .. errr .. personal use)

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

Friday afternoon and interesting thing happened that plays out daily across the world and I'm sure we've all been on one side or the other of it.

I have 2 sons, Dylan (16) and Griffin (10). Dylan had a few buddies over and they were playing basketball in our driveway which is on the small side and our neighbors house is only about 14ft away from ours (if that). Our neighbors are a couple who are in their 80s. A German man and an Irish woman. Even though I park my car so it will usually block any stray shot that gets away, sometimes one gets over the car and hits into their house. Not a hard shot but it does hit their house. The boys were also playing some Frisbee and a few times the Frisbee as hit their house. It's not intentional but their kids and kids happens.

Well, the Frisbee hit it one too many times yesterday and the woman came over very upset and on the verge of tears to talk to me about the house being hit. She threatened to call the cops. I listened to her and apologized to her, then I told Dylan and his friends to stop the Frisbee.

What does this have to do with chemo?
Grif was in the house crying because he thought the cops were coming I was going to go to jail.
Dylan thought "what's HER problem?"
The woman reacted like "those kids CONSTANTLY throw stuff at our house".
I tried to look at it from everyone's side and put and end to it (for now at least)
One event happened. A Frisbee hit a house. That was seen as many different things by everyone involved.

My point? If I didn't have the GREAT (IMO) results that I've had with my protocol which involves chemo, I very well would be cheering you on John. If your experience was very different, you might have a different outlook on this. No one is right and no one is wrong. Why do the treatments (TCM or chemo) work for some people and not for others? I have no idea, I wish I knew. I wish they studied it more because it's certainly WORTH looking at. Hell, some TCM I practice (one hit at a time) instead of taking Emend at $180 a pill. The human body is one of nature's amazing creations that can heal itself as easily as it can destroy itself. You said that "You don't have to get worse before you get better" but sometimes you do have to go through things and not around them.

There are too many casualties from cancer period. No one's come up with a cure but we certainly have many ways to GIVE people cancer. There is an article in the new issue of TIME that talks about how everything around us in our homes (and other places) have potential to give us cancer. I didn't get to read it yet but it looks like we're still at it!

When I read your posts (and other people's) I will try to look at them through different eyes.

Knock yourself our with the photo John. It does have an uncanny resemblance to a butt!
Politically I think we see pretty eye to eye. I'm sure I won't see you at any "teabagger" parties
;-)
-p

SandyL
Posts: 220
Joined: Feb 2009

I have been seeing the same thing in Phil's avatar! I thought my mind was in the gutter ( we used to say that in school). I try to think "it's a flower, it's a flower, it's a flower but it's just not working for me and I see penis and well, you know. So sorry, but thanks Phil for the conversational avatar. You folks totally rock my world.
Sandy

To answer your question, Phil-NO to the genetic test. Our kids have all had their colonoscopies earlier than recommended by the professionals.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

is a "Penis Fly-Trap" avatar although all of us guys who have ever caught our penises in our flies know how painful that can be.

Maybe I'll switch to birds and post some Boobies.*

*Boobies are large birds with long pointed wings and long bills. They hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Facial air sacs under their skin cushion the impact with the water. Boobies are colonial breeders on islands and coasts. They normally lay one or more chalky-blue eggs on the ground or sometimes in a tree nest.

SandyL
Posts: 220
Joined: Feb 2009

and snorted it all over my computer screen, Phil! Good to know what boobies are.

As I typed the word penis I found myself yelling at me "awww, she said (whispering penis)"
too funny. thanks for the grin this morning.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

It's hard to imagine the panic that would cause, me being the fairer sex and all....

Maybe it's like a mammogram, which we ladies enjoy...especially when, at the height of discomfort, we a told to 'take a deep breath and hold it'!!!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

men had to get mammograms, the machinery would be VERY different I think.
That does not sound like fun either at all.

Sandy, I think I've caused a few monitors to have coffee spewed on them in my time on this board...
It is a good day!
-p

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

You mean take the test now? I already know I am prone to have cancer with two tumors living happily in my colon for a while.
I am with you on that test kit - it can only comeback to haunt you later. What good is it to put a statistic on you that most probably has no meaning? Most people who have a propensity to get cancer don't get it. Even people with the genetic marker for hereditary colon cancer probably won't get it. I did have that test done, since I had a family history of colon cancer. My kids will get tested early any way (oldest is almost 30) even though I don't have the gene (or marker in the gene or whatever it is).
We already know insurance companies do not favor us because we have cancer. I can't imagine a day that my children might not get coverage or pay huge premiums because of some stupid test that indicates they are more likely than some to get cancer. That idea is not too far fetched. They already charge more for life insurance for smokers and other "high risk" groups. Tell me there have not already been insurance company meetings about the opportunities the genetic test kits can provide. Bah - the blood sucking, er, I mean life saving bastards. I would probably be dead today unless some nice soul forked out half a mil on my behalf if it were not for insurance. But still.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2121
Joined: Oct 2009

No, not interested. This stuff will come back and bite you in the butt. If I were younger, I would also think twice about doing it for an employer also.

Tina

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