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Hereditary Genetic Testing Specialist

Heights Medical

Primary Care Practice & Internal Medicine located in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

Your genes play a significant role in determining many of your characteristics, including eye color and hair color. They may also influence your health and your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease or cancer. The integrative team at Osler Medical Group at Heights Medical in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, offers hereditary genetic testing to determine how your genes may affect your health. To learn more about hereditary genetic testing, contact the office by phone or by using the online tool today.

Hereditary Genetic Testing Q & A

What are genes?

Your genes are tiny pieces of DNA found in each of your cells. These provide coding to tell your cells what to do, including how to grow and divide. 

Your parents pass their genes to you. Most of the genes you inherit from your parents are perfect copies. However, some may be altered or mutated. Though gene mutations are most often harmless, some can cause health problems. 

While you can inherit a mutated gene from your parents, your genes may also mutate throughout your life. Environmental factors, such as the sun or your diet, may trigger the gene mutation. 

What is hereditary genetic testing?

Hereditary genetic testing is a specialized test that evaluates your genes to look for specific inherited mutations or genetic variants. Your genetic variants may be harmful, beneficial, or have no effect on your health what-so-ever. 

Researchers have identified harmful genetic variants that may increase the risk of cancer. Most hereditary genetic testing looks for the harmful genetic variants linked to certain types of cancer, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Carrying one of these harmful genetic variants linked to cancer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get cancer. However, it may help you make the necessary lifestyle changes needed to reduce your risk of developing the disease. Your hereditary genetic testing results may also ensure you undergo regular cancer screenings, which may lead to an early diagnosis while treatments are most effective. 

Am I a good candidate for hereditary genetic testing?

Your provider at Osler Medical Group at Heights Medical can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for hereditary genetic testing during a consultation. You may want to consider getting tested if:

  • Cancer runs in your family
  • Many of your first-degree relatives (mother, sister, children) have the same cancer
  • You have a birth defect linked to cancer (skeletal abnormalities)

In addition to cancer, hereditary genetic testing may also assess your risk of developing other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. Like cancer, your provider may suggest testing if these chronic health conditions run in your family.

Many health conditions are passed down through generations. To learn more about how your genes influence your health, contact Osler Medical Group at Heights Medical by phone or online to schedule a hereditary genetic testing consultation.