The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is continuing a program which gives thousands the opportunity to know what cancer risks they may have based on their genetics at no cost as a part of its Information is Power initiative.
HudsonAlpha is working with associate company Kailos Genetics and sponsor Redstone Federal Credit Union to provide free genetic cancer risk testing for anyone age 28-32 in Madison, Jackson, Limestone, Marshall and Morgan Counties. Discounted prices are available for people living in those counties if you are 19 or older.
The program was launched in 2015, and leaders at the not-for-profit institute say more than 2,500 people have been tested as a result.
Participants receive a test kit which you receive in the mail. You collect your DNA samples from the inside of your cheek using a swab before sending it back to await your results. The test screen for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Some specific mutations in those genes increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The test also screens for genes linked to colorectal and prostate cancer.
Scientists say learning your risk factors ahead of time could prove to be life-saving, as you can undergo preventative measures to mitigate the risk of a cancer diagnosis.
The program runs until November 7, 2018.