How Much Does It Cost To Get Tested For Lynch Syndrome?
Various tests are required to diagnose lynch syndrome (LS). These tests can range anywhere from a 100$ to 2000$. However, at some places, they do the tests at discounted rates for other family members, if one person in the family is positive for lynch syndrome.
Also, the costs of the tests will vary, depending upon what tests are recommended by one’s genetics specialist, as not all the tests are required by everyone.
Some of the tests which may be advised when one is suspected of having lynch syndrome are-
History In The Family
One’s doctor will first start with taking down the medical history. He will want to know if there are relatives in the family that might be suffering from lynch syndrome associated tumors or cancers. These cancers might be colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, stomach cancer etc.
The doctor will also want to know if there is someone in the family who has been diagnosed with cancer at an early age, or an age which is unusual for that type of cancer.
Or if there are multiple generations affected by a particular type of cancer.
Testing For Tumor
If one or someone in one’s family has been diagnosed with any cancer, special testing for that cancer may detect if the cancer is associated with lynch syndrome. This will detect if one’s cancer was caused by the lynch syndrome.
These tests may include one or both of the following tests-
Immunohistochemistry Testing (IHC) – in this method some particular dyes are used to stain the tissues. Whether the staining is present or absent, will indicate if certain types of proteins were present in the tissue. The absent proteins will tell guide doctors as to which genes were mutated, causing the cancer.
Microsatellite Instability Testing (MSI) – in this method, the instability or errors in the sequences of DNA are detected, which may be confirmative of lynch syndrome.
If any of the above tests is positive, it may indicate that there is some problem with the functioning of the genes that are associated with lynch syndrome. However, it cannot be said for certain, because these gene mutations might only be present in cancer cells, while other cells might be normal. Whereas, in lynch syndrome, all the cells in the body will be showing this gene mutation. In such cases, genetic testing can give confirmatory results.
Some specific genes will have mutations in lynch syndrome. In order to see whether one is suffering from lynch syndrome, the doctors will test for those particular genes that are associated with lynch syndrome, in order to see if they are genetically mutated.
With the genetic testing results, one may get the following outcomes-
The Genetic Test May Be Positive– If the genetic test is positive; it means that a genetic mutation is present. However, that does not necessarily mean that one has cancer or will get cancer. But it definitely increases one’s risk of developing certain types of cancers in life. The intensity of the risk will depend upon which gene was mutated and will be different for different persons.
The Genetic Test May Be Negative– if the genetic test is negative, it means that the gene mutation was not diagnosed and perhaps one does not suffer from lynch syndrome. However, if someone in the family has cancer, the risk factor is still the same.
Sometimes a gene variation may be seen, which may be of an unknown origin. Though, genetic testing usually may give the answers that one is looking for, at times, some degree of unknown factor still remains.
All these tests may differ in costs and hence the exact costing of the lynch syndrome tests cannot be ascertained, as this may be different for different persons. A genetic counselor will be the best person to recommend and guide one through only those tests that are extremely necessary, thus making the testing cost effective.