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Genetic testing


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Hello everyone.

Next week I am having my first appointment with the Wessex Clinical Genetics team at Southampton. I lost my dad, my aunt, my grandmother and great uncle to this terrible disease all approximately aged 60.

I am now 53, and to be honest, I wasn’t particularly worried about the appointment, but the closer it gets the more thought I am giving it.

Has anyone had any experience of genetic testing? And if it’s found that I have a faulty gene what is the process after? Monitoring, prophylactic resection?

Any advice would be very helpful.

Many thanks


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Please do not worry. Even if you have some faulty genes this does not necessarily mean that you will develop cancer. It is a common misconception that cancer is brought about by a genetic mutation whereas it is a systemic and organisational disease i.e. pertaining to the biological system in terms of its organisation. Best regards.

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PCUK Nurse Rachel R

Hi TannyD,

It’s Rachel here one of the nurses. I am very sorry to hear that you have lost members of your Family as a result of pancreatic cancer and at such a young age too. I’m sure this must be an anxious time for you as you go to your appointment. Well done on organising this, it is a positive that this is happening and will allow you to move on to consider options if appropriate. We know that some cancers do run in Families, this is due to a faulty gene that can be passed down from a parent to a child. However people in a family who carry the faulty gene have an increased risk of developing that particular type of cancer, but it doesn't mean they will always develop it. Approximately 5-10% of pancreatic cancers are known as familial pancreatic cancer, so the majority of pancreatic cancers don't run in families. We are more than happy to chat in further detail about your situation if that would be helpful for you. You are incredibly welcome to call our support line on 0808 801 0707 or send us a email – nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Take care, Rachel

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