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Anyone Had Genetic Test For Cancers?

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Good morning, crew...

I had a visit with my gastroenterologist this week to prep for the next round of scopes (esophageal and colon). Mind you, I've been his patient for +/-15 years. He did my colon resection in 2003, and has since pulled dozens of polyps out each time I go in. This time, he mentioned having a genetic test performed to look for colon and other cancers. He said that based on the results, I may (get this) ELECT to have another surgery to remove what little I have left in order to reduce the risk of those other cancers. I don't think I heard much after that. My grandmother, aunt and an uncle (paternal) all had colon cancer, so I stay on top of it. I figure there's no need for a test, right? I did some searching and found out why. Apparently there are several syndromes which would put me in an increased risk pool for other cancers. Not that we need more to worry about, but my wife thinks I should have it done. She said that if it would reduce the likelihood, it was a good idea. Has anyone else had this experience? If so, I'd really appreciate your comments (what you chose, why, lifestyle since, etc.). The rational part of me really wants to know, but the guy who lived through the first surgery, recovery and subsequent complications cringed at the idea of being cut open again.

Thanks to all!

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Last time I ended up at the ER a day or so after the outpatient procedure from a reaction to the anesthetics. I'm concerned abou the elective comment he made. Why would I volunteer to do this when there's really no need???

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As a breast cancer survivor I had the genetic testing done a couple years back. The results were that I was pre-disposed to the breast cancer gene meaning that the likelihood of my getting breast cancer again was high. I was told that my options were to continue close monitoring or to have a mastectomy. Like you I said there is no need to have that done unless cancer was detected then take care of it. I did have it done before retirement. I would say that unless you are ready to take some action there is no need. I do think that the genetic testing is done not just as a benefit of your knowing but for your family (brothers, sisters, kids) to know where they stand. If you carry a certain gene then chances are that they carry it as well. Since you already know that you have a extensive family history of colon cancer then you probably already know that the chances are higher that you may get it again. My doctor recommended that my daughter get the genetic testing done but she didn't want to know. I told her the same thing. Unless she is ready to take drastic measures that there was no need for the testing. Just pay closer attention and be proactive. I'm no expert but can understand how you are feeling about this so I hope my comment can help you in some way.

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g -

Thanks for sharing; it really helps. I sent a message to my PCP and am also going to see what he says. Depending on the results of a test, I don't think I'd be eager to jump into another surgery, but if it would give my wife peace of mind, I'd have to really consider the option.

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