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Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer and Solid Tumors

Cancer is a genetic disease, which results from changes (mutations) in specific genes. Due to genetic changes, cancer cells multiply uncontrollably to form solid tumors.

The development of cancer in an organism is due to various factors, which concern either the genetic background of the individual (hereditary factors), or his environment and lifestyle. Examples of hereditary predisposition to cancer are familial breast and ovarian cancer due to mutations in the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes, familial polyposis of the colon and inherited non-polypodic colon cancer.

Genetic testing for the predisposition to cancer helps in the early diagnosis and prevention of the person with a family history of the disease, as well as in the application of the most appropriate treatment protocol in a person with the disease.

The individual treatment of each patient aims to create a treatment based on the biological characteristics of the cancer cell and their effect on the clinical manifestation of the disease. Many solid tumors, such as breast cancer, can be differentiated, depending on their molecular basis, into different forms (subtypes) and treated with different therapeutic approaches.

The development of new medication, which act on target molecules of cancer cells, has significantly improved the response to treatment and has extended the life expectancy of patients. Also, by evaluating the genetic profile of the tumor, the ‘’aggression’’ of the cancer can be controlled and more intensified treatment can be followed, or on the contrary, in milder cases, the administration of heavy treatment can be avoided, which often leads to undesirable side effects.