Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Genetic Testing for Cancers
Old 12-13-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Genetic Testing for Cancers

Wondering if anyone has undergone genetic testing for any cancers or if anyone has an experience with this subject.

Reason I ask is my mother has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my father died of pancreatic cancer and one of my mother's sister's died of pancreatic cancer so it has been suggested there might be some genetic link.

I would assume an associated danger of the testing is that they find something which would prevent me ever being able to get private medical insurance in the USA. However, to me that would not be the end of the world, as I would just return to Australia where I can have coverage. I'm kind of thinking it would be better to know because it is such a nasty one to get with such low survival rates I would rather be on the lookout for it if I knew it was likely coming.

I have been reading some interesting info on the DNA link to pancreatic cancer and how individual behaviours can damage the DNA increasing the chances and I can see how each of my family members have indulged in multiple no-no's - ie smoking, diabetes, obesity, bad diet
__________________

__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-13-2010, 07:36 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
I have been reading some interesting info on the DNA link to pancreatic cancer and how individual behaviours can damage the DNA increasing the chances and I can see how each of my family members have indulged in multiple no-no's - ie smoking, diabetes, obesity, bad diet
Who knew that diabetes was an indulgence!

A recent report on genetics and cancer makes this entire area seem a lot murkier, if this paper is correct. New Analysis Concludes Cause of Diabetes Not Genetic

Ha
__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Diabetes is not an indulgence but can be brought on by one's own behaviour. That is if you know you are pre-diabetic shouldn't one be responsible and do what the Dr has suggested, ie watch your diet, lose weight and exercise. If you don't follow medical advice on such a serious condition can you be surprised at the outcome?
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Diabetes is not an indulgence but can be brought on by one's own behaviour. That is if you know you are pre-diabetic shouldn't one be responsible and do what the Dr has suggested, ie watch your diet, lose weight and exercise. If you don't follow medical advice on such a serious condition can you be surprised at the outcome?
Well I tend to agree with you, but there are plenty of overweight couch potatoes who do not get diabetes. Perhaps all the behaviors you mention could be seen as indulgent, but there are plenty people who are following all the things one "is supposed to do", including calorie counting exercisers, who develop diabetes.

It can get tricky.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Wondering if anyone has undergone genetic testing for any cancers or if anyone has an experience with this subject.

I would assume an associated danger of the testing is that they find something which would prevent me ever being able to get private medical insurance in the USA. However, to me that would not be the end of the world, as I would just return to Australia where I can have coverage. I'm kind of thinking it would be better to know because it is such a nasty one to get with such low survival rates I would rather be on the lookout for it if I knew it was likely coming.

I have been reading some interesting info on the DNA link to pancreatic cancer and how individual behaviours can damage the DNA increasing the chances and I can see how each of my family members have indulged in multiple no-no's - ie smoking, diabetes, obesity, bad diet
The challenge of genetic testing is knowing what to do with the results. No such test is highly accurate, even the BRCA test for breast cancer. If abnormal a higher risk is presumed but not always that much higher in absolute numbers. Often there is no evidence that intense surveillance actually saves lives. It may only increase the odds of false-alarm findinigs and unnecessary testing. All that being said, look for many advances in this area in the future.

To be useful, a genetic test must meet certain criteria:
  1. It must detect a high proportion of patients truly at risk.
  2. It must be negative in the vast majority of patients not truly at risk
  3. It must lead to decisions which improve outcomes in patients who follow the plan
  4. That plan for those testing positive must have low risk for complications
  5. It must be affordable by large numbers of patients.
Very few meet this standard. Pancreatic cancer definitely has a hereditary, familial subset (up to 10% of patients), but we don't quite know what to do about it in other members of the family. Periodic endoscopic ultrasound screening is a plausible approach but is not of proven benefit, has definite risks, and generates a considerable number of false positives.

Let's hope for breakthroughs - we need it for this one.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Dangermouse, I was so eager to speak to the indulgence issue that I did not register that your father and aunt died from cancer, and now your mother has this cancer.

I am so sorry, and I apologize for my insensitivity in just blundering past this very painful situation in your life. My best wishes and prayers will be with you.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
No genetic testing.
No experience to share.

All I can do is send a HUG .

My Mom succumbed to breast cancer, so in the back of my mind, I realize I may have a higher risk of going through the same thing somewhere down the road.
I do not dwell on it, but you can be damn sure I get a mammogram EVERY year.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,432
My mother had breast cancer, fortunately cured and going strong at 93. My brother died from a sarcoma cancer. Pretty obvious that I'm a higher risk for cancer at some point. But I try to get plenty of exercise and keep my weight under control.

So no plans for any DNA test. Plus I'm a chicken $hat.

PS.......DM, Sorry about your family's history with cancer.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 10:33 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Wondering if anyone has undergone genetic testing for any cancers or if anyone has an experience with this subject.
I had blood drawn last Friday for just such a test (not pancreatic, however). I will speak more thoroughly to it after I am given the results.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 07:57 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
No genetic testing.
No experience to share.

All I can do is send a HUG .

My Mom succumbed to breast cancer, so in the back of my mind, I realize I may have a higher risk of going through the same thing somewhere down the road.
I do not dwell on it, but you can be damn sure I get a mammogram EVERY year.
Going by my family history: No cancer, no heart problems; massive but not lethal stroke at 80 or so. Don't want to be around for it.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,031
My daughters SIL just had genetic testing . She discoved a lump in her breast which is cancerous and because of her family history they recommended it . The test cost $3000 and was not covered by her health insurance and sad to say the result was positive so she will be underging bil. mastectomy at 35 .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 09:42 AM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
My mother had breast cancer, fortunately cured and going strong at 93. My brother died from a sarcoma cancer. Pretty obvious that I'm a higher risk for cancer at some point. But I try to get plenty of exercise and keep my weight under control.
I'm not aware of any evidence that either of the above isolated cancers place you at increased risk.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fireup2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,186
My family history sucks - maternal grandmother had diabetes & many problems associated with it. Biological father (and his father!) each died at 34 from heart attacks. Biological mother died (age 45) from complications of pancreatic cancer. My doctors have run me through the gamut of lab tests (CA125 and associated tests, echo cardiograms, annual EKG, and the list goes on - usually 5 tubes are drawn whenever I have to go to the lab) I hope to outlive them! Good news is my paternal grandmother & aunts are all healthy - good thing I am a girl!
__________________
Make no mistake, my friend, it takes more than money to make men rich. - A. P. Gouthey
Fireup2020 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
kaudrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Alexandria, Va
Posts: 941
DangerMouse - my thoughts are with and your mother at this difficult time.

My mother has had breast cancer twice. Once at 48 and again at 63. She is now cancer free at 73. My sister had the BRCA test a few months ago, but my mother has not had it done. The test came back negative, but apparently, that is not informative:

"In cases in which a family has a history of breast and/or ovarian cancer and no known mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 has been previously identified, a negative test result is not informative. It is not possible to tell whether an individual has a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation that was not detected by testing (a “false negative”) or whether the result is a true negative."

I have opted not to have the test done, but at 41, I am faithful about my annual mammograms.
__________________
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by...
kaudrey is offline   Reply With Quote
The odds are not good despite genetics
Old 12-14-2010, 11:14 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
ratface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 212
The odds are not good despite genetics

I've heard this statistic get thrown around on the great cancer telathon--- one out of two men and one out of three woman. Throw in genetics and you might as well flip a coin. The generation that lives without it will be the wealthiest of all time. Both my parents died of cancer, lymphoma and brain cancer at 58 and 63. I was stricken at 51 with head and neck cancer.

I agree that it's better to know as all of us here are obvious long term planners and as such you can use the information accordingly but don't dwell on it. It's at the forefront now because of Mom's condition but don't let it stay there. It is just not healthy, be prudent, but live for the moment.
__________________
ratface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 11:18 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
It is bizarre how cancer has hit my family in my generation and my parents generation as well.

So far this year we had a friend die of kidney cancer at 45, my auntie (mother's sister) died of gall bladder cancer (mid 70s), another of my mother's sister died of brain tumour (early 70s) and a cousin died of stomach cancer at 51. Another cousin's wife was diagnosed with brain cancer in July and it looks as if she will be dead by Christmas and she is only 39.

Other of my parent's siblings have died of liver cancer, prostate cancer and other unknown cancers. I have lost two cousins to bowel cancer and spinal cancer. It just does not seem to be stopping.

I guess because there are a lot of them it may inflate the numbers, 9 siblings on Mum side, 11 on Dads and 38 first cousins I have or had I should say.
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 12:24 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I'm not aware of any evidence that either of the above isolated cancers place you at increased risk.
Good. Back to pigging out.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2010, 12:50 PM   #18
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Good. Back to pigging out.
Well, there's always coronary artery disease...

Keep the pig ingestion down to twice a day.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
OMG Dangermouse
Old 12-14-2010, 01:19 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
ratface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 212
OMG Dangermouse

You seem to have an over abundance on both sides but it does play into the statistics. I don't even want to think of Coronary artery disease as my 52 y/o marathon/triathalon cousin just had triple bypass and Pork is our traditional Holiday food, I'm talking nice toasty pork skin here. I've come to the conclusion that these pitfalls await many of us but as I said earlier it's better not to dwell on them. Is it possible that our generation has more of these problems because of current lifestyles in Jobs, the food industry, our leisure time activities, as I recall my grandmother and great grandmother living to almost 100. Where did we go wrong?
__________________

__________________
ratface is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Maybe it's genetic - my mother was a FIRE person friar1610 FIRE and Money 1 11-15-2010 07:39 PM
Screening for genetic markers of cancer Nords Health and Early Retirement 9 11-07-2007 08:42 AM
NYT article on fat/diet/obesity (it's genetic and that's that) ladelfina Health and Early Retirement 41 05-20-2007 02:35 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:41 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.