Genetic or Genomic Testing
In recent years, genetic and genomic testing has been promoted to help urologists determine which prostate cancers have a more aggressive potential to spread and cause death. At Western States HIFU, Dr. Robert Pugach provides genetic testing information to help you understand the complexities of these tests and he explains the potential benefits specific to you.
What Is The Difference Between Genetic and Genomic Testing?
Genetics studies individual genes and inherited traits from one generation to the next. Genomics studies all genes in a given genome and looks at how the genes may be affected by the environment. Both tests study the DNA in the various genes.
So, for genetics in prostate cancer, we look at specific genes that may be passed from one generation to another. We know that, if a man has a family history of prostate cancer on his father’s side, there is a doubling of his risk of developing prostate cancer. Genetic testing may help us identify those at most risk with better certainty.
Genomics assesses specific genes and how they influence prostate cancer development and growth. They may be able to predict how likely it is for a given prostate cancer to be aggressive and spread over time.
So, for some prostate cancers, favorable genomic test results may suggest that some men with early prostate cancer do not need to be treated. How wonderful to be able to avoid both the short and long-term effects of prostate cancer treatment!
What Genetic Tests Are Currently Available?
The principal tests we now have are Prolaris®, Oncotype Dx®, Decipher® and Confirm MDx®.
The basic principle to the first three tests (are Prolaris®, Oncotype Dx®, Decipher®) is that they assess specific DNA characteristics of your cancer. By identifying specific gene types in your cancer, and comparing those to historical control values, a determination may be made as to the degree of aggressiveness of your particular prostate cancer. Predictions are possible about:
- The likelihood of aggressive growth of the cancer
- The rate of cancer cell division and long-term prognosis about the development of metastatic cancer or dying from your cancer.
Confirm MDx® is a different type of test. It is typically used if you have had a biopsy that did not show cancer. It utilizes methylation-specific PCR and cancer-associated epigenetic biomarkers to predict the likelihood of cancer being somewhere else in your prostate even when initial biopsies are negative. Equally important, it can identify specific areas in your prostate that should be targeted in the future if additional biopsies are performed.
At Western States HIFU we also offer the latest type of genetic testing to determine if other family members may be at risk for prostate and other cancers. A simple swab of you cheek can help identify patients with defective surveillance genes that predispose you and your family members to certain cancer. This also includes women who may be at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Pugach can give you more details when you have your consultation with him.
What Should I Do?
Here’s the bottom line – when you’re dealing with cancer you can’t make a mistake. You need good, solid professional advice from an experienced prostate cancer urologist. That’s exactly what we offer at Western States HIFU from our medical director, Dr. Robert Pugach!
What Is My Next Step?
Call Western States HIFU for an in-person, telephone or online/virtual consultation. If you live in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties we offer convenient appointments with ample time in our Los Alamitos or Huntington Beach offices so you won’t feel rushed as we discuss your prostate cancer. For California residents who reside further away, out-of-state residents and international patients we offer a telephone or online/virtual consultation with Dr. Robert Pugach.
To schedule a consultation to learn more about HIFU just call 844-HIFUDOC (844.443.8362.) or email us via our Contact Us form on this website. We look forward to welcoming you to Western States HIFU. We’re here to help you!