Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes
Although significant progress has been made in the field of genetics and its application to clinical practice, science is barely scratching the surface. The most common mistake that is made when looking at anyone's genetic information is over-simplifying it or thinking that genetic information is deterministic and provides all understanding of life's structure and function. In reality, most genes act as advisories and can be regulated by the environment and lifestyle. Such regulation determines the expression of genes and is called Epigenetics.
Epigenomics is the study of the complete set of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell.
Are you a previvor?
Cancer, by definition, is due to DNA damage. Therefore, all cancer is genetic and caused by a combination of genetic factors, lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of these genetic factors leading up to DNA damage are hereditary (passed down in generations) in nature and some are acquired. For genetic predisposition to cancer which is hereditary in nature, genetic testing is a valuable tool to determine cancer risk. Individuals who have a family history of heritable cancer but themselves have not developed cancer yet are considered previvors.
If you have a family history of heritable cancer, consider getting genetic testing. You may be a previvor. In that case, take proactive steps and consider genetic testing.
Here is a list of the most common genetic tests which can be useful in clinical practice,
Take the quiz below to see if you will benefit from genetic testing.