What's Ailing You: Testing for cancer genes

In this week's "What's Ailing You," News 12 Connecticut asked for a doctor's guidance on when and how to undergo genetic testing for cancer. The

The issue has been on people's radar recently since Angelina Jolie had surgery to remove her ovaries.

The issue has been on people's radar recently since Angelina Jolie had surgery to remove her ovaries. (4/9/15)

NORWALK - In this week's "What's Ailing You," News 12 Connecticut asked for a doctor's guidance on when and how to undergo genetic testing for cancer.

The issue has been on people's radar recently since Angelina Jolie had surgery to remove her ovaries. She learned from genetic testing that she was at very high risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Dr. Barry Boyd, of Greenwich Hospital's Bendheim Cancer Center, says if you have a strong family history of certain cancers, it might make sense to undergo genetic testing. Boyd says, however, that no one blanket blood test finds cancer genes.

He says it is important to involve a genetic counselor, who will analyze cancer cases in your family and then order specific blood tests based on your individual risks.

"They do the detective work and then when they do the testing, they will continue to follow up as they discover new genetic mutations that may have been linked that were not discovered at the original time of testing. They will go back and follow up with the patient," said Boyd.

News 12 Connecticut wants to know "What's Ailing You." You ask the medical question and we'll work to find you an expert's answer. Send your questions by way of Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #WhatsAilingYou.

More on this topic

Genetic Testing For Cancer Risk

American Cancer Society website

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