Costa Ricans can now benefit from an amazing genetic test that improves cancer detection. The service started last year, with a technology not widely available in the rest of the region.
The test is given to patients who are thought to have a possible genetic link to cancer. If various people in the family have gotten a specific type of cancer, this test can be applied to the rest of the family in order to either rule out that they also have the genetic variant or confirm that they do and thus take steps to closely monitor in order to catch any precancerous growths at once.
The genetic test hunts through the person’s DNA looking for genetic mutations related to cancer or other diseases with hereditary components.
One boy had a 50% chance of inheriting a mutation that his father had but mother did not. Before this test was available he had to frequently stay in the hospital for tests and observation. Now that he took the test and found out that he does not have the genetic mutation he no longer has to go through such difficulty.
The test can also help backtrack where the mutation came from, such as your maternal or paternal lineage, and therefore know which relatives to alert so that they can be tested.
Many who have the BRCA gene mutation make the decision to have their breasts removed before cancer develops since the probability of developing breast cancer with that mutation is so high.
These are just some examples of how the test is improving the health and quality of life of Costa Ricans.