Genetic Testing for Bladder Cancer: What People With Cancer and Their Families Should Know

March 23, 2023
Brielle Gregory Collins, ASCO staff

Genetics can play an important role in treating people with bladder cancer and informing their family members about their potential cancer risk. To learn more about a person’s genetics, their doctor may recommend genetic testing.

In this post, Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, talks with Marianne Dubard-Gault, MD, MS, about the role of genetics in people with bladder cancer, including what genetic mutations are, who might receive genetic testing, and what to expect if genetic testing is recommended for you.

  • What is genetics? [3:25]

  • What is a genetic mutation? [4:01]

  • What is the difference between somatic genetic mutations and germline mutations? [5:11]

  • How common are genetic mutations in people with bladder cancer? [7:35]

  • How can genetic testing inform treatment for bladder cancer? [9:28]

  • If someone is referred to genetic counseling, how can they prepare for the appointment? [11:17]

  • What happens during and after the initial meeting with a genetic counselor? [14:27]

  • What is the value of genetic testing both for the person with cancer and their family? [16:25]

  • What are some of the barriers to genetic testing that exist for people with cancer? [18:07]

Dr. Grivas is a medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, clinical director of the Genitourinary Cancers Program, and professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also an associate member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Grivas is a 2023 Cancer.Net Specialty Editor for Genitourinary Cancer. Dr. Dubard-Gault is the medical director of the Cancer Genetics Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Disclosure information for Dr. Grivas can be found in his individual biography linked to in the paragraph above. Dr. Dubard-Gault has no relevant relationships to disclose.

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