Genetic consulting

Genetic consulting is a specialist advisory service aimed at the early detection and prevention of breast or ovarian cancer. It is particularly useful if your close relations are known to have had one of these types of cancer. The following information covers the most frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What does genetic testing involve?

Your genes can be seen as a type of “recipe book” for our bodies. They provide our cells with information on how different proteins are constructed and thus determine how our bodies should look and function. But sometimes these genes have mutations which alter the way proteins are produced. These mutations – or basically errors – can mean that someone has a particularly high risk of contracting a specific disease. Genetic testing is a way to find out whether someone is carrying a particular high-risk gene.

Which genes influence the risk of breast or ovarian cancer?

There are two genes which particularly influence an individual’s risk of contracting breast or ovarian cancer: BRCA1 and BRCA2, also known as “Breast Cancer“ Genes 1 and 2. Women with mutations in both these genes are at particularly high risk, and some men. Anyone displaying these types of genetic mutation are also susceptible to prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Who would benefit from genetic testing?

Genes are passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic testing is therefore advisable mainly for women whose blood relations have suffered from breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer, to establish whether they show abnormal forms of the breast cancer genes. Testing is particularly recommended if two or more close relations have breast or ovarian cancer (or both), or if these types of cancer have occurred in more than one generation of the family.
If there is a marked incidence of tumours in the family, however, it is not necessarily due to genetic abnormalities.

What’s the best way to prepare for genetic testing?

Before you undergo testing, it’s always best to seek professional advice. A specialist can explain exactly what the test results could mean for you and your family. We will also provide you with all the necessary emotional support you need to cope with the feelings that can sometimes arise from undergoing testing.

What does a positive test mean?

Not everyone with a genetic mutation necessarily goes on to develop cancer. Although knowing you have such a mutation can be frightening initially, it can also give you a sense of certainty and peace of mind. In particular, it helps identify ways to significantly reduce the risk of cancer through preventive measures.

How can the risk of getting cancer be reduced?

Regular specialist screening and precautionary gynaecological examinations help to detect cancer at an early stage and make treatment much more simple and effective. In addition, taking certain medication for a specific period can provide some protection from the disease. Pre-emptive surgery may also be considered, such as the removal of both ovaries and the fallopian tubes, or possibly a mastectomy. The choice of measures depends on the patient’s age and situation, and we will gladly set out all the options in a detailed and caring manner.



Tel. +41 61 265 93 33
Fax +41 61 265 90 37