Importance of genetic screening in prostate cancer
Today, prostate cancer is one of the most common conditions that has affected men across the world. The prostate is a male gland that carries out the function of producing seminal fluid for the nourishment and transportation of sperm. Cancer is triggered when there is an abnormal growth of cells in a part of the body. Likewise, prostate cancer sparks off when cells in the prostate begin to grow in an uncontrolled fashion. Initially, the growth can be harmless; however, a malignant spread can cause major harm. When detected in the early stages, prostate cancer comes with the greater chance of being treated successfully.
According to research, family history can greatly impact the risk of prostate cancer in men. Men with inherited mutations in BRCA genes are more susceptible to suffering from cancer in the gland. Thus, there is an increased emphasis on undergoing routine testing to detect any mutations well in time.
Genetic screening for prostate cancer
Genetic screening or testing comprises of examining an individual’s DNA and find out the order in which the DNA molecules are put together. Typically, there are two different types of genetic screening methods employed.
The first kind of genetic screen or testing used aims to look at the specific DNA in the person’s cancer cells. Under this testing, the clinicians may find the cells to find it to be different or the same to that of “normal cells.” The inspection can also aid in understanding the cancer with better precision. In most cases, the doctor can zero in on a better treatment method and right management route with this type of genetic screening.
The second type of genetic screening inspects the genes in the normal cells. This process helps pinpoint if there are any changes in genes that one may have inherited from the parents. This helps the doctor understand if an individual is at the risk of suffering prostate cancer. The method is also widely used to understand the chances of suffering from other diseases.
Most commonly, genetic screening in prostate cancer involves looking for specific mutations linked to the disease. This eliminates the need of fishing through and helps get to the conclusion faster.
There are a number of challenges attached in using genetic screening for prostate cancer. The major issue lies in the fact that genetic screening is expensive. Moreover, most cancers are not caused by a single genetic mutation; thus, testing everyone could be futile.