Mutations linked to hereditary cancer syndromes may increase an individual’s risk of developing cancer, as well as its recurrence. New genes that may also carry pathogenic mutations associated with cancer risk have been identified; as a result, individuals previously tested should consider additional testing. This article provides a case study illustrating the importance of such testing.
At a Glance
- Although just a small percentage of cancers have a genetic link, individuals identified as having pathogenic mutations may develop cancers earlier—and cancers that are more aggressive—than the general population.
- Oncology nurses are often among the first to discuss with patients their fears regarding the risks of cancer development in future generations.
- Identifying a pathogenic mutation early can assist in cancer prevention or earlier detection.