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We all have approximately 25,000 genes in every cell of our body and at least 100 of these genes work to try to prevent us developing cancer. If we inherit a fault (known as a mutation) in one of these genes it can significantly raise our risk of developing specific types of cancer. Different gene mutations raise the risk of different types of cancer.
Where possible it is always most informative to offer genetic testing to someone who has had cancer first. This is so that if there is a genetic mutation in the family it can be identified and we then know what to look for in healthy relatives.
Before testing takes place all experts agree that that counselling should be arranged. At Pall Mall Medical, we work with the leading provider GeneHealth UK who only use registered and registration-eligible counsellors.
Their job is to explain the facts as clearly as possible and to give accurate information to help you understand your options and make up your own mind whether to go ahead with a genetic test.
Our counsellors are also able to recommend appropriate cancer screening and possibly risk reducing strategies.It is an integral part of the genetic testing process and explains the chance that you will have a mutation as well as the implications of these mutations.
Pre-test counselling takes one hour and offers you information about your personal cancer risk, the risk of an inherited mutation in your family, and the purpose of the test. It is also possible to have genetic counselling to determine your cancer risk without wanting to have genetic testing.
Post-test counselling explains the test results, as well as your risk of cancer and the appropriate cancer screening or risk reducing options. If a mutation has been identified, testing for your relatives will also be discussed.
We offer a range of private tests for cancer. Cancer is not usually inherited, however, in some families there may be an increased risk of cancer and a genetic fault (mutation) may be the cause of the cancer.
Families with hereditary bowel cancer generally show one or more of the following signs:
* Cancer usually starts as a benign growth known as a polyp. Not all polyps will become cancerous and they can often be removed during screening.
BreastGene, breast cancer genetic testing examines in detail, the DNA code for 10 genes which are known to cause an increased risk of breast cancer. It is performed on a blood sample and if possible it is always more informative to also test a relative who has had breast cancer.
Individuals or families with a history of breast or ovarian cancer may want to consider BRCA1 & 2 testing to understand their risk of developing one of these conditions and help decide what risk reducing measures to consider. Find out more about ovarian cancer screening .
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK. Unfortunately, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with 75% being diagnosed over the age of 65. This means that men have a 12.5% lifetime risk of prostate cancer. The majority of prostate cancer occurs by chance, however, approximately 5-9% of prostate cancer is estimated to be hereditary and 25% is familial.
We also offer a Prostate Health Screen, which is a comprehensive look at your health and risks for prostate cancer.
| Genetics Consultation |
Available upon request