Why genetic testing can change your life

November 30, 2022

In 2013, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie went through a surgery due to a cancer gene that ran in her family. Her mother, who had battled cancer for nearly a decade, had died at the age of 56. Because of her family history of breast cancer, she genetically tested that her mother had inherited a mutated BRCA1 gene, a potent cancer-causing gene. As a result, Angelina Jolie has a significantly higher chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer than the average person, 87% and 50%, respectively. So, she decided to undergo a double mastectomy to potentially save her life.

According to the statistics of the authoritative “American Society for Medical Genetics and Genomics” (ACMG), there are about 60 cancer-causing mutations in BRCA1 that have been confirmed so far. If you go for genetic testing and find that your gene mutation is one of these 60, you are conclusively in the high-risk group of breast cancer. In fact, the genetic mutation that Jolie carried was not only within this category, but also one of the most powerful mutations amongst them, hence her swift and seemingly drastic action. Swayed by the power of her celebrity status, women around the world started to be more aware of genes and such cancer-causing mutations. 

In the United States, thanks to 7 million people each year undergoing genetic testing and interventional treatment, the incidence of familial colorectal cancer has dropped by 90%. The incidence of familial breast cancer has dropped by 70%, and the early-stage remission is as high as 95%. With the continuous development of life science and medical technology, genetic testing projects are gradually accepted by more and more people.

Genetic testing is the starting point for a customised health management program. Although your genetic risk cannot be changed, you can predict in advance and make reasonable plans and arrangements for the high-risk genetic diseases you may have. If you’d like to take action now, please feel free to reach out to us at Link Doctors.

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