In many ways, cancer is one of the biggest mysteries in medicine. It can lurk in our cells undetected for years. It can strike at any time. And it has no discrimination.

Unlocking the unknowns of cancer is a top priority for many researchers, and one clue to better understanding the disease is genetic testing. In a broad sense, genetic testing represents a method of looking at mutations in your cells to predict your or your family's risk of cancer or guide treatment options with a diagnosis.

For prostate cancer, genetic testing isn't mainstream, but some doctors see value in using it as a tool for treatment now—and in the future.

Two types of genetic testing

Genetic testing for cancer, including prostate cancer, is done through either somatic or germline testing, according to Abhinav Sidana, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of surgery and director of urologic oncology at the University of Cincinnati College of