Genetic Testing & Counselling

Genetic Testing & Counselling

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What is genetic testing and what it’s connection with prostate cancer?

An increased risk of getting prostate cancer can be inherited from your parents and passed on to your children or grandchildren. Research suggests that 5–10% of prostate cancer cases in Australia are inherited. 

You may have genetic testing to determine if you are at greater risk of prostate cancer, or you may decide you would like your family to have genetic testing to check their risk. 

You may have also have another type of testing called genomic testing, to check how your prostate cancer might behave (whether it might grow and spread and how quickly) and whether certain treatments are best suited for you.  

Genetic testing looks at the inherited gene mutations (changes), while genomic testing looks at the genetic make-up of your prostate cancer. 

Learn more about the risks, genetic factors and genetic or genomic testing by following the below links: 

Risk Factors

Genetic Risks & Testing

Genomic Testing & Biomarkers

What is genetic counselling?

Testing for your or a family member’s genetic risk of prostate cancer can be daunting. Not only for you but also for what it may mean for your family. 

Before having genetic testing, your doctor or healthcare team may refer you to a genetic counsellor. These are health professionals who have special training in medical genetics and counselling. They can help explain the risks and provide information on whether your children are at risk of getting prostate cancer in the future. They can also provide emotional and practical support and advice so you can adjust to living with the risk of having or passing on the genetic risk of prostate cancer to your family.

If you have any questions about genetic testing or genetic counselling reach out to your healthcare team or a PCFA nurse on 1800 22 00 99. 

Key Points

  • Increased prostate cancer risk can be passed down from your parents through inherited gene changes (mutations)
  • You may also pass these gene changes onto your family
  • Genetic testing can identify if you or your family are at risk of prostate cancer
  • Genomic testing is a type of genetic testing that looks at the genes in your cancer to check how your cancer might behave and guide your treatment options
  • Before you have genetic testing you may be referred to a genetic counsellor
  • A genetic counsellor specialises in genetics and can provide valuable information on your and your family’s genetic risk for prostate cancer, with support and advice


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