Plan your pregnancy better during Covid-19 with prenatal genetic testing

And they lived happily ever after!

Glad to meet you at this beautiful junction of life with your partner. We hope you’re ready to take happier strides towards planning a family & foreseeing a future full of precious moments with a healthy baby.

Well! If now’s the time, we suggest taking your routine health care seriously.

Right from planning a family to conceiving, nurturing the embryo & fetus, & delivering a healthy baby, your health matters & so do your genes.

Importance of genes: The vital steps of family planning during Covid-19


Identify the risks early & take preventive measures


It’s the best of times for you to think about getting pregnant; it’s the worst of times out there with Covid-19. So take calculative & precautionary baby steps!

While you’ve started making a chart about the mental, physical & financial aspects of family planning, have you thought about your genes?

Genes are the one that defines your baby. You may or may not have a family history of genetic disorders that could be passed on to your offspring, but you can’t take risks. Isn’t it?

During the tough times of the pandemic when every ringing doorbell, every footstep outside, & every single contact could bring unforeseeable danger, it is vital to identify risks & take preventive measures.

While the Corona virus is known to bring communicable illness, genes play a prominent role in passing on non-communicable diseases. During pregnancy or family planning, genetic disorders (changes in a person’s genes due to missing or extra chromosomes) can make the baby unhealthy.

So, what should you do?

The answer to all your queries related to risk-free family planning lies in prenatal genetic counselling & testing.

What is prenatal genetic counselling & testing?


Genetic testing means getting your DNA diagnosed & tested for genetic disorders. Prenatal genetic testing is doing the same before planning a family or during the pregnancy to become aware of the risks of passing on any genetic abnormalities to your future children.

US National Library of Medicines suggests that prenatal genetic testing is the best approach to get aware of the genetic abnormalities before getting pregnant. A prenatal screening test can help you to plant the seeds of genetic testing in the preconception stage of family planning to detect the risks of defective genes beforehand.

Genetic counselling before genetic testing


Genetic counselling helps you & your partner understand your genes based on your heredity & family history.

Understand your risks through counselling.

Get to know whether you require genetic testing or not.

If yes, find out the appropriate genetic test for you through experts.

Discover the likelihood of defective genes, & plan preventive & healthy measures.

Schedule a safe prenatal genetic counselling session from the comfort of your home. TruGeny’s flexible tele-genetics platform connects you with expert counsellors via phone or online consultation at your convenience.

Types of genetic testing for family planning


Prenatal screening tests


These tests will make you aware of the risks of any genetic abnormalities in either one of you before conceiving. Also they make you well aware of the possibility of passing on genetic disorders to your baby.


Carrier screening tests


Before planning a family, a Carrier screening test will help you to foresee the risks of inherited disorders from genetic changes in either one of you. It involves screening the blood tests or saliva samples.

You as a couple can easily opt for the Carrier screening test before getting pregnant. It is the safest way to understand your genes before entering into family planning.


Prenatal diagnostic tests


This is the next big step of detailed analysis of the placenta to check the actual health of the fetus.


Even before the genetic counselling! Do you as a couple require prenatal genetic testing?


The best plan for a baby can be made by his parents. Even before scheduling a meeting with a genetic counselling expert, these factors can help you to decide when should one opt for genetic counselling?

Is it safe to undergo prenatal genetic testing during the pandemic?


While you can get genetic counselling done from the comfort of your home, the counsellors will tell you the next steps.

If you require prenatal genetic testing after that, consider it like one more visit to your gynecologist. This time, to foresee the contingencies, & prepare yourselves for a healthier pregnancy & delivery.

Getting a genetic test done before planning a family & during pregnancy will make you prepared to take informed & preventive steps in delivering a healthy baby. You can always show these reports to your gynecologist to get more assurance & confidence in the early stages of your family planning & throughout your pregnancy.

You can always choose a reliable health partner like TruGeny to help you undergo prenatal genetic testing while maintaining the necessary precautions for Covid-19.

Benefits of prenatal genetic counselling & testing


How accurate is prenatal genetic testing?


In most cases, the results of prenatal genetic testing are accurate. However, there are chances of getting the false-negative or false-positive results that vary from test to test. So it is always advisable to choose expert counsellors & trusted genetic testing partners to minimise the risks of getting inaccurate test results.

Also, there is a lot of anxiety that couples experience during prenatal genetic testing. That is absolutely normal for the parents-to-be!

Ignorance is not bliss while planning a baby. A genetic disorder can make a predominant impact on the well-being of your family. The change in genes indicates the risks of Down syndrome or serious brain & spinal abnormalities in the embryo.

It’s up to you to decide to go with or against prenatal genetic tests after consulting an expert genetic counsellor’s opinion.

However, keep in mind – Prevention is always better than cure! So choose wisely.

Reliable health partners for prenatal genetic counselling


The ongoing pandemic has made it imperative to take your routine health care seriously. When it comes to starting a family, you must make informed decisions for your preconception & pregnancy health without an iota of doubt.


At TruGeny, our expert team of genetic counsellors will guide you to taking the baby steps of family planning peacefully & carefully. You can rest assured that this certified team of genetic counselling & testing services will assist you in understanding your genes better. Any risks of the defective genes that have the slightest chances of getting passed on to your baby can be detected much earlier. Or how about getting satisfied & worry-free after prenatal genetic counselling or testing that there is no risk at all?

Congratulations! That’s good news indeed.

Together, let’s build a healthier & joyous future full of happy family for you.

Take the first right step towards your family. Book an appointment for prenatal genetic counselling for both of you right away.

Visit www.trugeny.com

What causes breast cancer, is it a genetic disease?

Acknowledging Genetic Counsellors

What is cancer

Before we get into understanding cancer, it’s important to understand about our bodies. Cells are the basic units that make up the human body. Everyday inside us, cells grow and divide to make new cells as we need them to perform basic functions like digesting food and utilising oxygen from air. Usually, cells die when they get too old or damaged. Then, new cells take their place. Cancer begins in people when their genetic changes interfere with this orderly process. In such individuals, cells start to grow uncontrollably. These cells forms a mass or a tumor in an affected area of the individuals body. But not all tumors are cancerous, people have lived with such tumors for years. Unfortunately cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. It affects various functions of the body leading to unhealthy and life-threatening conditions.

What is breast cancer

Cancer can occur in any part of our body, breast cancer starts in the breast tissue. In breast cancer patients the cells usually form a tumor that can be felt as a lump or seen through medical imaging, such as mammograms and MRI. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer, too.

What causes breast cancer

If you have ever talked to a breast cancer survivor and ask them how did they get the disease? They may not have an answer, as all the medical attention is focused on treating the disease and saving the patient’s life. Studies suggest that the cause of breast cancer is linked to hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors affecting a woman with a susceptible genetic risk. The breast cancer survivor that you may have known, may not have been through a genetic counselling or test. The patient could have taken better choices for healthy living, if the risk was known to her. Lot of grief to you and your family members can be avoided by opting for a simple genetic counselling session. It is important for you to understand that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow uncontrollably. The immune system likely encounters and eliminates cancer cells on a daily basis. But cancer causing cells escape the immune surveillance, these cells divide more rapidly in an individual’s body. They continue to form, accumulate and form a lump or tumour. It can take several years for the cellular changes and tumour formation in your body to become visible and get detected in normal breast examination. Genetic tests can assess your risks profile to take preventive measures.

Are you at risk?

Risk factors for developing breast cancer include obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, exposure to ionizing radiation (x-rays), early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer and family history. About 5–10% of cases are due to genes inherited from a person’s parents. India is a country with many communities where there is high load of genetic disorders. It is recommended by experts to get a genetic counselling and test conducted before entering into life-events such as marriage and pregnancy planning – that also brings additional responsibilities to you.

What are the consequences of breast cancer for women?

Breast cancer is ranked number one cancer among Indian females. In a women population of 4000 at least one woman has the disease. Unfortunately about 12 women out of 1 Lakh population face death issues. In metro cities hectic work schedules and high number of patients for check-ups adds to the difficulty in availing healthcare. Women staying in smaller cities may not have access to start-of-the-art facilities and specialist physicians. In either case, the delay in identifying affected women aggravates their disease condition and makes the situation complex for them and their families.

What can you do?

Spread awareness so that every woman can take a proactive approach to their health. Self-care and care of immediate young and elderly dependents is required. You can take measures for early screening that identifies immediate signs and symptoms. For a better understanding of prolonged outcomes of your breast health, genetic tests can be helpful. It can help identify your risks of acquiring breast cancer based on personal history, family history and scientific validation. Certified genetic counsellors at truGeny are available on call or chat, to explain you about genetics and its link for reducing breast cancer risk.



Your Genes Matter. Take Charge.




Women with Breast Cancer Gene Mutation are prone to get Uterine cancer

Acknowledging Genetic Counsellors

According to a study, women who carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, that is responsible for breast and ovarian cancers, are at a higher risk for the deadly form of uterine cancer.

Since a conclusive link between the Breast Cancer gene mutation and a significant risk of developing uterine cancer has been found, doctors have changed the approach of the treatment which is more like proactive. The process is similar to removing both the breasts after breast cancer.

But conflicting evidence has created controversy over the need to remove the uterus. Smaller studies identified a link between the Breast Cancer gene mutation and uterine cancer, but the evidence to change practise has hinged on results from a well-designed study using a larger patient population from multiple sites.

Doctors say that this is the study that was necessary. The study presents the strongest evidence to date that women with this genetic mutation should at least discuss with their doctors the option of having a hysterectomy along with removal of their ovaries and fallopian tubes.

In a current study, analysed data from 1,083 women where all had Breast Cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) genetic mutations, had undergone removal of their ovaries and fallopian tubes, and were followed for a median 5.1 years.

Of those eight cancers, however, five were of an uncommon subtype called serous endometrial cancer, which is especially aggressive. All but one of the serous endometrial cancers occurred in women with the BRCA1 genetic mutation (one occurred in a patient with BRCA2 mutation).

Given the incidence of this cancer in the wider population, only about .18 cases would be expected among women with the BRCA1 mutation over the time period analysed, putting these women with the BRCA1 trait at significantly higher risk.

“We were surprised when we saw the data,” Kauff said. “This is an event that should not occur in the over 600 women with BRCA1 mutations in our study. Even if we followed these women for 25 years, you would only expect to see no more than one serous cancer.”

Kauff said the findings are especially important because serous endometrial cancer has a mortality rate of 50 percent and is preventable for women who are already undergoing surgical procedures toremove their ovaries and fallopian tubes.

“Our findings suggest that it may be important for women with BRCA1 mutations to consider removing their uterus at the time they are considering removing their ovaries and fallopian tubes, unless they are hoping to still have children using assisted reproductive methods or have other medical reasons,” Kauff said.

Kauff cautioned that for women with BRCA1 mutations who have already undergone surgeries to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes, the findings are less clear.

“We need additional studies to address whether a 25-year risk of serous uterine cancer of 2.6 percent to 4.7 percent justifies the costs and potential complications of a second surgery,” Kauff said.

Role of truGeny

trugeny is a telegentic platform of India that provides a complete solution for Genetic Counselling and Testing Services. Our expert counsellor goes through a thorough investigation of you and your family’s medical history. They diagnose the risk of you being susceptible to Breast Cancer or any other Genetic disorder. Based on the counselling report, Testing is advised. Post the testing, the results are again briefed to you for a clear understanding of your health. Further, the experts will also guide you through your future decisions.

Visit www.trugeny.com today to book an appointment today!



Your Genes Matter. Take Charge.




Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

Cancer is not only a deadly disease; it is a sensitive topic too. It creates a stir not only in the patient but amongst their loved ones too – both emotionally and financially. Hence, it is very important to know about the facts relating the same. Misleading data might cause uncalled for situations eventually hindering good prevention and treatment decisions. Here below, we clarify some of the common myths and misconceptions regarding cancer.

1. Is cancer a death sentence?

The most common misconception people dwell with is cancer is always deadly – which is not true. With the progress in medical science, the chances of dying with cancer have reduced. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now are 90 percent or better. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 67 percent. However, the span of an individual cancer patient will depend on many factors, including whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more.

2. Will eating sugar make my cancer worse?

No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.

3. Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?

No. Researchers have conducted studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners (sugar substitutes) saccharin; cyclamate; aspartame; acesulfame potassium; sucralose; and neotame and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. All of these artificial sweeteners except for cyclamate have been approved.

4. Is cancer contagious?

In general, no. Cancer is not a contagious disease that easily spreads from person to person. The only situation in which cancer can spread from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation. A person who receives an organ or tissue from a donor who had cancer in the past may be at increased risk of developing a transplant-related cancer in the future. However, that risk is extremely low—about two cases of cancer per 10,000 organ transplants. Doctors avoid the use of organs or tissue from donors who have a history of cancer.

5. Does my attitude—positive or negative—determine my risk of, or likely recovery from, cancer?

To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a person’s attitude to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, it’s normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer.

6. Can cancer surgery or a tumor biopsy cause cancer to spread in the body?

The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors.

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7. Will cancer get worse if exposed to air?

No. Exposure to air will not make tumors grow faster or cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body.

8. Do cell phones cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes.

9. Do power lines cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low-frequency form of radiation that does not damage genes.

10. Are there herbal products that can cure cancer?

No. Although some studies suggest that alternative or complementary therapies, including some herbs, may help patients cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work. Cancer patients should talk with their doctor about any complementary and alternative medicine products—including vitamins and herbal supplements—they may be using.

11. If someone in my family has cancer, am I likely to get cancer, too?

Not necessarily. Cancer is caused by harmful changes (mutations) in genes. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by harmful mutations that are inherited from a person’s parents. In families with an inherited cancer-causing mutation, multiple family members will often develop the same type of cancer. These cancers are called “familial” or “hereditary” cancers.

12. If no one in my family has had cancer, does that mean I’m risk-free?

No. Based on the most recent data, about 38 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. Most cancers are caused by genetic changes that occur throughout a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Other factors, such as what kind of food you eat, how much you eat, and whether you exercise, may also influence your risk of developing cancer.

13. Do antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer?

No. The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue.

14. Does hair dye use increase the risk of cancer?

There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Should genetic testing be offered to all patients with breast cancer?

Conducting multigene testing on breast cancer patients when they are diagnosed is cost effective and could potentially save the lives of thousands. But many patients are not offered the testing based on existing criteria, which means people carrying cancer genes are not given the opportunity to find out if they are carriers.

Multigene testing includes an evaluation for the BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2 genes. The genes have been linked to inherited cases of cancer. Mutations to the genes can put men and women at a higher risk of breast cancers as well as other cancers.

Currently, testing is restricted based on a patient’s family history or clinical criteria. While certain Breast Surgeon societies recommend genetic testing for all, some does not.

Dr. Ranjit Manchanda, a lead researcher and professor, said that about 50 percent of BRCA carriers do not meet the existing criteria to qualify for genetic testing. As a result, about half of them are at risk but don’t know it. Additionally, only 20 to 30 percent of patients who meet the criteria are referred for and access BRCA testing.

He also says that all breast cancer patients should be offered the option of multigene testing. This approach will save many more lives and prevent many more breast and ovarian cancers than the current clinical approach. According to him there is no benefit of testing being restricted.

A study conducted by an Oncology society assessed data from 959 breast cancer patients and found that only 49.95 percent met the testing criteria. And recommended complete genetic testing.

Another study was based on data from more than 83,000 women on cancer registries. About one-quarter of them with breast cancer had genetic testing.

Several organisations recommend genetic testing for ovarian cancer, but there are fewer that do for breast cancer patients.

Dr. Peter D. Beitsch, a surgical oncologist from Texas who was part of a supporting study told that he agrees that breast cancer patients need genetic testing upon diagnosis. The new research is in line with his findings.

Family support for Cancer Patients

Cancer is a severe blow not only for the person with the disease but for his or her family too. In light of the illness, family of the cancer patient have to think about how they relate to cancer and the person who has it. It is hard to see a loved one becoming sick while at the same time learning new qualities and attitudes in oneself.

Many questions prey on cancer patient’s family’s minds. Will he/she recover? What should you say to the person who has cancer? How can I best be a support? Should I talk about cancer to him/her? Many people feel that they are reacting and thinking about it wrongly.

Each person faces the crisis in his or her own way. It often takes a while before you are ready to take in the fact of having a serious illness. Work, hurrying about or drinking can all shield one from reality. Absorbing the situation will happen in its own time. A practical and calm approach will help you face the situation and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

The best support the family can give those with cancer is to be there for them and to be prepared to listen to them. It is better to encourage loved ones who are ill to talk about difficult matters than to try to get them to forget about their critical situation. It also takes courage on the part of listeners to confront their own feelings. Sometimes loved ones may feel disappointed if those who are ill do not respond as was hoped, but instead remain aloof or reject the help being offered them. However, the support and care that relatives and friends provide is not wasted.

Read about Rehabilitation Courses

Content:

  • Advice for the family of cancer patients
  • Support for the family
  • Peer support and discussion

Advice for the family of cancer patients

  1. Support the cancer patient as best you can. Sometimes simply your presence and nearness are enough.
  2. Keep up relationships outside the family. Relatives and friends are needed for support during recovery.
  3. Try to continue doing the things and recreation that have previously been a source of strength.
  4. Supporting someone who is ill is easier when you deal with your own fears, for instance by discussing them with a third party.
  5. Be available and tell the person who is ill that you are available.
  6. If the person who is sick withdraws and does not want to talk, continue to be present and to offer help.
  7. Remember that the illness is tiring: if the person who is ill does not feel up to doing something together today, they might tomorrow.

Support for the family

When a family member has cancer, it requires energy and endurance on the part of other family members and friends. If some things feel too difficult to cope with, it’s good to say so openly.

A loved one of someone with cancer may also need help and support. Family members and friends can get in touch with available advice services or visit an oncology nurse at one of the regional cancer associations.

Peer support and discussion

Some regional cancer associations have provided training for family support persons. These are volunteers who are also the relatives of cancer patients.

Regional cancer associations and patient organisations arrange meetings, support groups and courses for families.

Breast cancer risk perception: what do we know and understand?

Our perceptions of breast cancer risk are largely inaccurate and are often associated with high levels of anxiety about cancer. There are interesting cultural differences that are not well researched. Genetic risk counselling significantly improves accuracy of women’s perceptions of risk, but not necessarily to the correct level. Reasons for this are unclear, but may relate to personal beliefs about susceptibility and to problems or variations in risk communication. Research into the impact of demographic and psychological factors on risk perception has been inconclusive. An understanding of the process of developing a perception of risk would help to inform risk counselling strategies. This is important, because knowledge of risk is needed both for appropriate health care decision making and to reassure women who are not at increased risk.

Read More

Content:
  • Factors associated with the perception of risk
  • The experience of cancer in the family
  • Less common types of Breast Cancer
  • Role of genetic risk counselling
  • Role of truGeny

Factors associated with the perception of risk

Individuals with strong family histories may acknowledge an increase in risk, but frequently think in non-Mendelian terms and are more influenced by their particular familial experience of the condition. Their perceived vulnerability may be based on the burden of cancer in the family rather than on the hereditary nature of a faulty gene. This will help to explain why some women do not adjust their risk to the value given by the genetic counsellor. A number of other factors have been explored for their possible association with risk perception, including demographic and psychological factors, coping and cognitive factors and heuristic factors. The impact on risk perception of anxiety proneness, ‘state’ anxiety (ie anxiety at a particular moment, such as when attending for risk counselling), prior mental health, age, the number of affected relatives and the individual doctor who is communicating risk information have been evaluated, but no conclusive associations have been identified.

The experience of cancer in the family

The timing of illness events and deaths in cancer-prone families is often an important triggering factor in consideration of personal risk and in seeking risk assessment and advice on risk management or cancer prevention. Women’s perceptions of vulnerability may be developed from this ‘lived experience’ of cancer and through strong identification with an affected or deceased mother or sister. This is congruent with findings in other genetic conditions, in which the ‘availability heuristic’ has been found to influence risk perception. This means that people judge an experience that is cognitively ‘available’ (ie can be remembered) as more likely to occur, and beliefs about the frequency of lethal events may lead to overestimation of risk of disease occurrence or of the seriousness of the risk. Moreover, the perception of the severity of the disorder tends to be included in the interpretation of the risk, irrespective of the risk value given at genetic counselling. Thus, both cognitive and emotional factors interplay in the formulation of risk perception.

Read More

Role of genetic risk counselling

The positive impact of genetic risk counselling on risk accuracy has been shown repeatedly, and additional information in the form of a personal letter or audiotape of the consultation, or a more general video presentation have all been shown to confer additional small benefits in accuracy of risk perception. They may help to reduce factual inaccuracies and reinforce retention of correct information. It remains to be seen whether new forms of risk presentation using innovative computer graphics can improve on these results. The most effective methods of presenting risk information to women who continue to overestimate or underestimate are still to be determined, but an important initiative has recently been taken by the American Cancer Society to try to develop a consensus communications model that provides guidance for breast cancer risk communication. The recommendations include the avoidance of the concept of lifetime risk; use of absolute risk in preference to relative risk; an agreed definition of ‘high risk’, which is based on the need to take different action from the average woman and the use of comparison risks for other diseases. These recommendations follow logically from published research in the field, and will have implications for the delivery of risk information both in educating the general population and in personalised genetic risk counselling.

Role of truGeny

trugeny is a telegentic platform of India that provides a complete solution for Genetic Counselling and Testing Services. Our expert counsellor goes through a thorough investigation of you and your family’s medical history. They diagnose the risk of you being susceptible to Breast Cancer or any other Genetic disorder. Based on the counselling report, Testing is advised. Post the testing, the results are again briefed to you for a clear understanding of your health. Further, the experts will also guide you through your future decisions.

Visit www.trugeny.com today to book an appointment today!

Breast Cancer: Types, Symptoms, and Role of Genetic Testing.

Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancer after skin cancer. It is found mostly in women than men, but males get affected too.

Rigorous awareness campaign and development in the medical science have improved the survival rate. Peole are far more aware and concious of the same hence, early detection is possible resulting in reduced number of deaths.

Learn more about Breast Cancer

Content:

  • What are the types of Breast Cancer?
  • Special types of invasive Breast Cancers.
  • Less common types of Breast Cancer
  • Early symptoms of Breast Cancer
  • Role of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

What are the types of Breast Cancer?

The type of breast cancer is determined by the specific cells in the breast that are affected. Most breast cancers are carcinomas, which are tumors that start in the epithelial cells that line organs and tissues throughout the body. When carcinomas form in the breast, they are usually a more specific type called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells in the ducts (the milk ducts) or the lobules (milk-producing glands). Find below the types of breast cancer:

  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is a non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. Here, the cancer starts in the milk duct and is not spread across the breast tissues.
  • Invasive Breast Cancer (ILC or IDC):Invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma makes up about 70-80% of all breast cancers.

Special types of invasive breast cancers:

Some invasive breast cancers have special features or develop in different ways that affect their treatment and outlook. These cancers are less common but can be more serious than other types of breast cancer.

  • Triple-negative breast cancer:Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive type of invasive breast cancer that accounts for about 15% of all breast cancers. It is a difficult cancer to treat.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of invasive breast cancer. It accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers

Less common types of breast cancer:

There are other types of breast cancers that affect other types of cells in the breast. These cancers are much less common, and sometimes need different types of treatment

  • Paget disease of the breast: Paget disease of the breast starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). It is rare, accounting for only about 1-3% of all cases of breast cancer.
  • Angiosarcoma: Sarcomas of the breast are rare making up less than 1% of all breast cancers. Angiosarcoma starts in cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. It can involve the breast tissue or the skin of the breast. Some may be related to prior radiation therapy in that area.
  • Phyllodes tumor: Phyllodes tumors are rare breast tumors. They develop in the connective tissue (stroma) of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas, which develop in the ducts or lobules. Most are benign, but there are others that are malignant (cancer).
Find out more about the types

Early symptoms of Breast Cancer:

  • A lump in your breast or underarm that doesn’t go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer. Your doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it.
  • Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone. This could mean breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes in that area. Swelling may start before you feel a lump, so let your doctor know if you notice it.
  • Pain and tenderness, although lumps don’t usually hurt. Some may cause a prickly feeling.
  • A flat or indented area on your breast. This could happen because of a tumor that you can’t see or feel.
  • Breast changes such as a difference in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of your breast.
  • Changes in your nipple, like pulls inward, is dimpled, burns, itches, develops sores
  • Unusual nipple discharge. It could be clear, bloody, or another colour.
  • A marble-like area under your skin that feels different from any other part of either breast.
Know more about the symptoms:

Role of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer:

What if we say you could find out if you are prone to this deadly illness? What if we say Genetic Testing could be the answer?

Genetic Testing involves probing into your chemical database, your DNA. This test can reveal plenty about you, your past, your health, happiness, IQ. In fact. To some extent, it can determine your future too!

Needless to say, your genes are not the only ones responsible for everything, other aspects like environment, lifestyle are responsible as well!

Knowing details about your health from Genetic Testing means that you can determine the risks of you being susceptible to various diseases and ailments. Therefore, we can also predetermine the risks of you getting affected by the killer – Breast Cancer.

But we should always keep in mind that a positive testing result does not signify that you will definitely be affected, neither does a negative result mean that you will never be affected. It is just a way to be cautious and take preventive measures accordingly.

How does Genetic Testing work?

Some females inherit certain gene changes (or mutations) that intensify the risk of being affected by Breast Cancer (or any other cancer).

In the case of Breast Cancer, the most significant changes inherited mutations occur in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Individuals having either of these gene changes are prone to have Breast Cancer (or Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer – HBOC).

Females with the abovesaid gene change are likely to have Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer. While the males are exposed to the risks of getting breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

Factors affecting the risk in terms of Genetic Testing:

If your family holds a history of breast or any other cancer, the chances of you being affected by the illness multiples. But the risk depends on certain factors like:

  1. Closeness with the family member suffering/suffered from cancer
  2. The number of family members who were affected
  3. The age, when they were diagnosed with cancer. If he/she was detected at a younger age, then it is a matter of grave concern

Results of Genetic Testing:

Before opening your results, you should always keep in mind that Genetic Testing is for sure one of the biggest tools to prevent and take precautions against Breast Cancer but it might not provide clear answers. Hence, heading to a genetic counsellor once the results have arrived is very important.

When the result is positive, there could be ways to reduce the risk or even prevent it. If you are already detected with this cancer, your course of treatment might change, for better of course!

When the result is negative, you should be happy but that does not eliminate the chances of you being affected later, as we said earlier, your environment, lifestyle plays an important role too.

When the result is inconclusive, you should probably get another test done or talk to your genetic counsellor.

When the result is positive for a variant unknown significance, it signifies that the test did find a gene change but is not sure if that may affect the risk. In this case, you should consult your genetic counsellor for the next step.

In short, we can say, Genetic Testing in case of Breast Cancer is certainly a good choice to assess the risk factors.

truGeny – India’s first telegenetic platform:

truGeny is India’s first telegenetic platform providing an end-to-end solution for Genetic Counselling and Testing services. Our expert and certified genetic counsellors will help you in understanding your risks based on your health and family history. Once the test is conducted, our counsellors will explain the test results to you and guide you on the next steps. Choose a healthy future by being aware of your genes and your risk Learn with truGeny. Book your appointment. Visit us at www.trugeny.com.

Types of Prenatal Genetic Testing

The entire journey of bringing a new life in our lives is a beautiful journey – right from family planning to delivering the baby and beyond. A beautiful, healthy baby is all we wish for. As soon as this journey starts, we go through multiple medical treatments, follow home remedies suggested by our elders, and N number of advices come our way. But apart from regular medical treatments, what can actually help us with this process is Prenatal Genetic Testing.

Read more about Prenatal Genetic testing

Content:

  • Role of Prenatal Genetic Testing in Family Planning.
  • What are the two main types of prenatal genetic tests?
  • Carrier Screening Genetic Testing.
  • The Solution.

Role of Prenatal Genetic Testing in Family Planning

In the event of anything going wrong with the health of a baby brings about a lot of turmoil emotionally, physically, and monetarily. Adding to these, brutal societal pressure is another major fight. The challenge is not only for the parents but the baby suffering goes through an ordeal while dealing with the physical and mental issues.

THE CHALLENGE
Is not only for the parents but the baby.

India is a vast country where a huge number of children are born every year. As per records around more than 10 lakh babies are born with genetic disorders each year. All of us know, prevention is better than cure. Even though most Genetic Disorders do not have a cure, but we do have a science to prevent this! Yes! We can avoid risking our future. Wondering how?

Well, the answer is Prenatal Genetic Testing.

Prenatal Genetic Testing involves looking at your DNA and understanding your risk for certain diseases as well as your risk of passing on a disease to your children. Knowing details about your health from Genetic Testing means that you can determine the risks of you being susceptible to various diseases and ailments.

Needless to say, your genes are not the only ones responsible for everything, other aspects like environment, lifestyle are responsible as well! Even though it is best to get Prenatal Genetic Testing before getting pregnant, but this test can be done later as well. Genetic Testing can also be done at point of time during the pregnancy.

Read more about Family Planning and Prenatal Genetic Testing

WHAT ARE THE TWO MAIN TYPES OF PRENATAL
GENETIC TESTS?

Prenatal Genetic Testing is widely classified into two segments, namely Prenatal Screening Testing and Prenatal Diagnostic Testing.

Prenatal screening tests:

These are conducted to identify whether the baby is more or less likely to have certain birth defects, or genetic disorders. These tests include blood tests, a specific type of ultrasound and prenatal cell-free DNA screening.

Prenatal Diagnostic Testing:

Diagnostic testing will give you insights into the situation. This will help you understand the risks better. The results help you in taking your future decisions and planning the course of action in terms of your family planning. These tests are done on cells from the fetus or placenta obtained through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).

AMNIOCENTESIS:

Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test usually done between 15 weeks and 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it also can be done up until you give birth. In this process, a very thin needle is used to withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid. Ultrasound is used to guide the procedure. Depending on the way the cells are analysed and the information that you want, results can take from 1 day to several weeks. Leakage of amniotic fluid and slight bleeding can occur after amniocentesis. In most cases, both stop on their own.

CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING:

In CVS, a sample of tissue is taken from the placenta. The main advantage of having CVS over amniocentesis is that CVS is performed earlier than amniocentesis, between 10 weeks and 13 weeks of pregnancy. The chance of miscarriage with CVS is slightly higher than the chance of miscarriage with amniocentesis.

Carrier Screening Genetic Testing:

Carrier testing is a genetic screening test done while you are planning for a family. This process involves screening of your genes to determine if you are carrying genes for certain genetic disorders and your risk of passing them on to your future children. A Genetic disorder will persist in a person only when they carry two defected genes. A positive screening test helps you to assess the level of risk you are at while having a baby with genetic disorders.
Read more on Carrier Testing

The Solution:

Genetic Testing is the future of medical treatment. And truGeny is a thorough Genetic Counselling and Testing servicesplatform.

Genetic counsellors from truGeny are certified and will help you in understanding the risk of you passing on a genetic condition to your future child, by understanding your health and family history. They will further guide you whether you require Genetic Testing. Post the testing process, the experts guide you through your report helping you plan your course of action. Genetic Counselling and Testing will build a stronger and healthier tomorrow. We believe with your support we can help in bringing the change. Let us join hands together. Let us choose to be healthy, be strong.

Book your appointment now! Visit www.trugeny.com

Is the Indian society indifferent towards differently abled children?

India being a democratic country, the citizens should get the highest importance. Hence, every policy created in this country should be benefitting every citizen. But India is a diverse country with people from various religion, culture, race, caste and ethnicity. The policies are adapted in a way where the need of every individual from every diversity is catered to. Keeping in mind the growth of everyone, the country falls back on Special policies, reservation systems, pension plans and so on. These policies are designed to ensure the benefits of differently abled people too. Prior to 2011 when the International year of the disabled was observed, no specific data on the differently abled was available. Post that, a census data was generated which marked around twenty-one million individuals with some form of disability, which is more than two percent of the total population. While, the count of mentally retarded takes up the second position in the report. Since 2011, India saw a hike in the count of differently abled individuals. According to a report from the World Bank, around forty to eighty million people are differently abled. Poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy are very common amongst the families of the differently abled.

Read more about the policies for the differently abled

Content:

  • Societal behaviour towards the differently abled
  • Education and them
  • Inclusive policies
  • Solution
  • The role of Genetic Testing and Counselling Services and truGeny

Societal behaviour towards the differently abled

Differently abled children fall prey to discrimination in our society. The family of the affected at times behave indifferently towards the children. They face seclusion and negative attitude from their closest ones. These children are deprived of all the love, care, affection they seek for from their family. They are neglected. In fact, at times the children are abandoned by their parents, especially in rural areas. The society believes that a differently abled child is a curse to the family and the society.

The lack of awareness, literacy, and ignorance towards such a sensitive topic have led the society to behave so indifferently towards them. The discrimination, awkward looks, sympathy, makes it really difficult for these special children to distance themselves from the society. Not just the society, the policies that are built to support every individual does not benefit them much. The pensions are way too meagre for them to sustain.

Education and them

Education is the key to success. But these special children are deprived from this basic necessity. The policy makers have long been ignoring the fact that the special children need a tailor-made syllabus and education system for them. Kerala, being the state with the highest rate of literacy in India, implemented a specially curated course and system for the differently abled in 2016. Therefore, we can imagine the situation in other states. Vocational training would make it easy for them to make a living. There are just three states in India with affiliated vocational training centres. The others have schools run by NGOs and associations like the YMCA. These associations do not get enough funding to support all the requirement. The teachers attached to these schools do not get paid and eventually end up leaving the job. Funds is a dire need for these NGOs to operate these educational institutions.

Know more about the institutions

Inclusive policies

The current focus is on inclusive policies. But the question is how inclusive are these policies and how does it benefit the differently abled? The physically challenged still stand a chance in these policies, but the mentally challenged got no luck at all. National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, India have just one percent of people going in there. Even though the institute promises employment but they fail to do so. As per the reservation system, just a three percent is reserved for them in the employment sector.

Solution

Even though a small percentage of the Indian population are differently abled, but we cannot ignore them. They are equally important. Their needs must also be catered to. We need to work towards the betterment of them. To start with, we can get aware and educated of the situation. Social exclusion is the next step. The government policies and reservation systems should work in favour of them. Special care cells must be incorporated. The education system should be improved. More job opportunities should be introduced.

As Stephen Hawkins said, “People with disabilities are vulnerable because of the many barriers they face: attitudinal, physical, and financial. Addressing these barriers is within our reach and we have a moral duty to do so. But most importantly, addressing these barriers will unlock the potential of so many people who have so much to contribute to the world. “Governments everywhere can no longer overlook the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities who are denied access to health, rehabilitation, support, education, and employment—and never get the chance to shine.” Let us unlock their potential. Let us support them.

The role of Genetic Testing and Counselling Services and truGeny

Even though there is nothing much that can be done to cure the differently abled. But Genetic Testing can enable you to learn about risks of your baby having any form of Genetic disorder well in advance, while you are pregnant. We cannot stop their pain, but we can prepare ourselves. Genetic counselling and testing will enable you to make decisions best suited for the baby and you. It will help you prepare for the care that your baby might need in case of any situation.

truGeny, India’s first tele-genetics platform helps you with genetic risk evaluation and guides you through your pregnancy journey. Certified and expert genetic counsellors will firstly perform a genetic diagnosis and your risk evaluation. The counsellors will help you understand the risks that you and/or your baby might be susceptible to after learning your medical history and your family’s health history. Based on the risk evaluation, they will guide you if you need to undergo Genetic Testing. The experts will also help you understand your genetic test report. Based on your report, they will also guide you on the best course of action.

Visit www.trugeny.com to book your appointment now.