If you have been diagnosed with cancer, have you had germline testing? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Taking a look at someone’s genes when they have cancer is more and more common. One type of testing involves looking at the variations in an individual’s genes they’ve had since birth, so-called germline testing, to see if they are at risk for certain cancers. Yet a new study shows this practice isn’t carried out as often as is recommended. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: Germline genetic testing is conducted to see if people are carrying an abnormal gene that might increase their risk for certain cancers. There have been more and more recommendations as to who should undergo this kind of testing. Just how often are people with cancer diagnosis undergoing germline test and they looked at a large number of folks. Overall the germline testing was only 6.8%, the highest that it reached was 40% in men with breast cancer, ovarian cancer where universal testing has been recommended it reached as high as 30.9%.               :33

Nelson says people should ask if germline testing is appropriate for them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.