23AndMe Have FDA Approval To Test For Colon Cancer

23AndMe Just Got Approved for A DNA Cancer Test

If you are attempting to learn more about your ancestry or ethnicity, DNA testing is the best option.  It also helps you to conduct other tasks like genealogy reporting and health screening. While many companies offer DNA testing, 23andMe’s ancestry test is renowned for genetic health screening services.

Some diseases are hereditary, and they pass through family generations that share the same genes. Doctors may need your DNA history to diagnose some of the conditions that are genetic which transfer through genes. For instance, DNA testing is increasingly gaining popularity as a method of screening certain diseases like cancer, asthma, diabetes, among others.

As such, 23andMe’s recent FDA approval for DNA cancer test is a positive development. This additional cancer screening approval can go a long way in promoting early detection of the disease. DNA testing also helps the doctors to check if you are at risk of contracting hereditary conditions.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is hereditary, and the best way to diagnose this kind of disease is to go for  DNA testing. As such, 23andMe recently got the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to offer testing services for hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome.

According to 23andMe, hereditary colorectal cancers constitute a minority of colorectal cancer cases. Colorectal cancer accounts for about five percent of the cancer cases. However, the new test does not look at variants that have a connection with Lynch syndrome.

According to other studies, colorectal cancer is common, especially in the western world. About five percent of individuals diagnosed with this condition have a traceable inherited genetic link. Genetic testing offers individuals recommendations for individuals to manage their health.

There are different forms of colorectal cancer syndromes that include Lynch syndrome, the commonest also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). The other symptoms are MYH-associated polyposis (MAP), familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), and the hamartomatous polyposis syndromes.

These syndromes make patients susceptible to different extracolonic cancers. Genetic testing comes as great relief to various people who can practice better management of the disease. DNA testing also helps the people who are at risk of colorectal cancer syndrome to be aware of their status.

Significance Of DNA Testing

These individuals require multidisciplinary management measures that include clinical screening, genetic testing, and counseling as well as treatment recommendations. Without proper clinical screening, management of colorectal cancer can be tricky.

Following its approval by the FDA to offer DNA testing for colorectal cancer, 23andMe is now able to tell the customers if they have the two genetic variants. These variants influence MUTYH that has a link with polyposis. Polyposis is a rare condition that has a connection with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

The test for hereditary colorectal cancer comes as the second cancer-related risk to help 23andMe to receive FDA clearance. 23andMe started compiling a report on three different variants believed to have links with breast cancer in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

The BRCA tests were however controversial in that 23andMe focused on three variants though there are about 1,000 known BRCA mutations. The three options it focused on were common among the people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. The people not at risk besides the Ashkenazi descent would make a common mistake. They believed that by not having mutations, they also had no chance of breast cancer.

It does not necessarily mean that the people who share the same DNA are the only ones at risk of hereditary conditions. Cancer can also affect people with different genes, so the element of over-reliance on DNA testing is not recommendable. When using this method for testing cancer, there are also other factors to consider.

Against this background, there is also concern about these genetic tests directly offered to the consumers without the doctor’s insight. It is also essential to have a genetic counselor that can help to interpret the results as well as plan medical care accordingly.

Other Challenges Of DNA Testing

Hereditary colorectal cancers only account for about five percent of colorectal cancer cases according to 23anMe. In other words, colorectal cancer is not just a result of genetic inheritance since it can also affect other people with different DNA. The tumors of this type account for a minority of cases.

The other issue is that the new tests do not look at other variants with a link to Lynch syndrome. This particular syndrome is the most type of colorectal cancer that is inherited. At first, 23andMe was offering assessments for above 250 conditions. However, FDA then ordered it in 2013 to cease the provision of analyses of people’s risk factors till validation of the tests’ accuracy.

The other significant thing that people should know is that about 20 percent of patients with colorectal cancer have a history of inherited genetic alterations. Genetic testing is the best way to detect HNPCC as well as FAP.

It is a good idea to consult your doctor first if you want to learn about your family’s history of inherited colorectal cancer. The other thing that you should also know is that even if your family has a history of the disease, it does not mean that you also have it.

You may be at risk, but that does not necessarily mean that you will suffer from the condition. In some cases, you might not contract this particular type of hereditary disease. However, it is recommendable to go for early screening is you belong to a family with a history of cancer.

Consult A Medical Professional To Discuss DNA testing results

You should talk to your doctor to know whether you are at risk of these conditions. Clinicians are in a better position to manage both individuals as well as families at risk of affected with inherited disorders.

When health professionals have information about your family history, they can offer screening as well as clinical counseling services. Medical professionals can provide treatment options and recommendations if they have details about the genetic history of your family.  DNA testing is also crucial in that it helps the doctors to diagnose conditions like colorectal cancer earlier.

About the Author Charles McKnight

I'm just another amateur genealogist investigating my American-Scots-Irish lineage. I built MyFamilyDNATest.com after buying all of the leading DNA tests to discover everything I could about my family history. Hopefully, this site will save you time and demystify the emerging science of DNA-based genealogy, for your family project.

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