When it comes to cancer, it is often said that “an ounce of cancer prevention is worth a ton of cancer cure.”  It is true that prevention is one of the few known ways to dramatically improve health outcomes for people and lower healthcare spending.

Cancer prevention starts with a healthy lifestyle (e.g., maintaining an ideal weight, not smoking), having regular check-ups and assessing ones’ family history of cancer.  Knowing your family history can be particularly important because an estimated 10 percent of common cancers such as breast, colon, and prostate cancers may be due to a mutation in a cancer-causing gene that is inherited from one or both parents.

One of the easiest ways to get started with a family history assessment is to take the hereditary cancer quiz and to share the results with your physician or healthcare provider.

Advances in Genetic Testing Are Ushering in a New Era of Personalized Medicine

Depending on your family history, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take a MyRisk Hereditary Cancer test to determine if you carry a mutation that puts you at increased risk for developing one of eight different types of cancer.  MyRisk tests 35 cancer-causing genes and combines that information with your own personal/family cancer history into a personalized report.  Your doctor can then use this report to help you take steps to prevent or lower the risk of cancer.

New Breakthroughs in Genetic Research are Rapidly Improving Progress for More Patients

As our understanding of cancer genetics improves, Myriad is expanding its test offerings to help even more patients.  One example is our riskScore® breast cancer risk-prediction tool, that is designed to predict breast cancer risk in certain women who have a family history of cancer and test negative for an inherited mutation on the MyRisk test.  riskScore helps to further predict a women’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer using clinical risk factors and more than 80 genetic-markers throughout the genome to provide patients with an individualized breast cancer risk assessment.

Excited by the Future

We are at a time of remarkable progress in cancer prevention and care and are just beginning to understand all the secrets of the human genome.  We are excited to see what future innovations will hold for patients and their families.

Click here to take the Hereditary Cancer Quiz

Myriad Genetics at J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Paul J. Diaz, president and chief executive officer, Bryan Riggsbee, chief financial officer, and Dale Muzzey, chief scientific officer, presented at the 41st annual J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference.