Cancer prevention during COVID-19
Are you being proactive about your health?.
COVID-19 is on everyone’s radar right now. While people are also worried about economy and how to restart businesses, what about your health? From healthcare’s perspective, COVID-19 is categorised as a pandemic, and it is a dangerous infection considering the way in which it can spread from person to person rather easily and can be fatal. Another dreaded disease that takes up attention almost throughout the year but now has been relegated to the backseat is cancer. For patients and survivors, the trauma of cancer lasts way beyond treatment and recovery.
The key question to ask is – just because COVID-19 is here, should all other health concerns be sidelined or put on hold? Well, certain elements of healthcare, such as elective surgeries can be put on hold temporarily and as per doctor’s recommendations, but what about cancer? Patients diagnosed with cancer have to undergo treatments, surgeries and medication regimen, irrespective of a pandemic raging outside. People who lead a lifestyle that relies on alcohol, tobacco or drug abuse might take the occurrence of cancer as unavoidable, but what about those who maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Did you know that at times cancers are inherited through genes? This means, if anyone among your predecessors ever had a history with cancer, you could have a risk of developing cancer in your lifetime, even if you follow the healthiest of lifestyles.
Genetic Counselling & Testing
The best way to combat any disease is to know well in advance about your risk for inheriting the disease, so you can take actions to prevent the onset of the disease or be prepared in the best way possible. Genetic health consultation provides a way for you to understand if you have any probability of risk for diseases including cancer. Genetic counsellors will assess your risk based on your and your family’s health history and then guide you on whether you would need to get a genetic test done to confirm your risk. Genetic testing can help identify if there are specific markers in your genes that indicate a risk of cancer occurrence.
Genetic testing is helpful if there is a certain pattern of cancer in family. If you identify with any of the following, genetic testing may be recommended :
Any first-degree relatives (mother, father, brother, sister, children) with cancer
The same type of cancer in relatives on one side of the family
If there are instances of cancers linked to single gene, such as breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers in your family
A family member with more than 1 type of cancer
If there’s a family who suffered from cancer at a younger age than normal for that type of cancer
Close relatives with cancers that are linked to rare hereditary cancer syndromes
If there’s a family member with a rare cancer such as male breast cancer, retinoblastoma
If any family members have had genetic testing and the reports have identified genetic mutations
We understand that during these times of COVID-19, stepping out of your home for a genetic counselling session or getting a genetic test done is not safe. This is where telegenetics is a great solution for you to ensure that you do not delay your health decisions. Through telegenetics, one can schedule a consultation online and have a full-length discussion with certified and expert genetic counsellors easily. If you are advised for a genetic test, you can opt for the same and receive a test kit right at your home. Instructions to be followed are very simple regarding the test kit. Once you have submitted the sample, you just wait for a couple of days and your counsellor will get in touch with you to explain your test results and what actions you should be taking to ensure your health is taken care of.