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Cancer Treatment Centers of America


What is genetics?

Cancer is triggered by mutations (changes) in the genes of a cell. These changes cause cells to reproduce in an unstructured, abnormal way. Most cancers occur by chance or sporadically. Gene changes may result from a random mistake when cells are dividing. Genes may also change in response to lifestyle habits and/or environment exposures or injuries.

A small portion of cancers have been identified as resulting from genetic changes that are inherited. Individuals with an inherited gene mutation tendency have an increased risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. However, not everyone who is born with a tendency for a gene mutation will develop cancer.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) we offer genetic testing to help determine if your cancer was due to an inherited gene mutation and if you are at an increased risk of developing a second cancer.

Our Cancer Genetics Program consists of genetics education, counseling and testing services. You will learn about the role of genes and hereditary in the development of cancer and which of your family members may be affected. Before and after your test, you will meet with a genetic counselor to discuss your questions and concerns.

What is genomic tumor assessment?

CTCA also offers genomic tumor assessment to help uncover genetic changes occurring within the tumor itself. Identifying these changes may help determine what’s driving the growth of cancer. With this information, our physicians can better understand what’s driving the growth of the cancer and find treatment options not previously considered.

The terms genetics and genomics may seem similar. Both refer to the genes in an individual. But genetics looks only at the traits you inherited from your parents, while genomics is focused exclusively on what’s happening to the genes of an individual tumor.

Watch our video above to learn more about the difference.