There's no medical risk associated with being tested for a BRCA gene mutation other than the slight risks — including lightheadedness, bleeding or bruising — of having your blood drawn. A Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation of Germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 Testing in UK Women with Ovarian Cancer. A positive test result means that you have a mutation in one of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, and therefore a much higher risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer compared with someone who doesn't have the mutation. 2017 Apr;20(4):567-576. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2017.01.004. Whether you want to learn about treatment options, get advice on coping with side effects, or have questions about health insurance, we’re here to help. It is helpful to meet with your genetic counselor to understand how to interpret this finding and decide on appropriate follow-up. Can a healthy diet help to prevent breast cancer? Likewise, insurance companies often only cover genetic counseling and testing for individuals who are at high risk. Testing for these abnormalities is not done routinely, but it may be considered on the basis of your family history and personal situation. Results can take several weeks or months. Accessed at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/genetics_screening.pdf on July 25, 2019. Mayo Clinic. The medical experts for Genetic Testing are: These experts are members of the Breastcancer.org Professional Advisory Board, which includes more than 70 medical experts in breast cancer-related fields. If you have not had breast or ovarian cancer: If a mutation has not already been found in another family member: A negative test result is considered uninformative because the result could mean that: The breast and ovarian cancers in your family are caused by one of the mutations included in the genetic test but you did not inherit the mutation. In addition, a negative test result may mean that you don't have the particular gene(s) the at-home test looks at, but that doesn't mean that you don't have another gene that affects your risk. This is why meeting with a genetic counselor or cancer genetics professional is important, even before being tested. A breast ultrasound is another powerful tool that can help detect breast cancer in women with an abnormal breast cancer gene. Epub 2017 Mar 3. How often should I do a breast self exam (BSE)? National Cancer Institute. Can physical activity reduce the risk of breast cancer? FDA authorizes, with special controls, direct-to-consumer test that reports three mutations in the BRCA breast cancer genes. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you’ll find it here. Genetic counseling is recommended for those who are interested in being tested for breast cancer gene mutations. Your doctor might suggest testing using a multigene panel, which looks for mutations in several genes at the same time, including BRCA1 and BRCA2. Whether the results are positive, negative, or ambiguous can impact many life decisions, and a counselor can help navigate those decisions. As with BRCA1 and BRCA2, testing for other genetic mutations is recommended only if you are at high risk for that particular gene. At the American Cancer Society, we’re on a mission to free the world from cancer. Further testing might be available. Among the benefits of this, your sample is likely to be reliably handled and your physician is looped in on results, which can help you make sense of the findings. About Breast Cancer > Overview > Breast Cancer Genetics > Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer. They may do this in a clinical setting or opt to use an at-home testing kits. The genetic counselor takes a detailed family and medical history, assesses your risk of developing cancer, discusses risks and benefits of genetic testing, and outlines your options. "Simply having a proven gene abnormality does not necessarily mean that a woman will develop breast cancer, or that her cancer will be any worse than cancer that does not stem from an inherited genetic flaw. The recommended screening for breast cancer still applies to you even if you have a normal genetic test. Heidi Moawad is a neurologist and expert in the field of brain health and neurological disorders. But the tools aren't perfect, and each one might give different results, so doctors are still trying to figure out how best to use them. You may be given accurate information about the percentage of people with a specific gene mutation who go on to develop breast cancer, for example, but that information won't be put into context given your full family and medical history, which is an advantage your physician can provide. Everyone has two copies of each of these genes—one copy inherited from each parent. Genetic test results can also be uncertain or ambiguous. The samples are sent to a lab for testing. Dr. Isaacs also was a PI for the Cancer Genetics Network site and for the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Defects and alterations in these genes diminish the body’s natural ability to fight the disease. Available Every Minute of Every Day. If you decide to have BRCA genetic testing, prepare yourself for the emotional and social implications that learning your genetic status might have. Whenever possible, the first person tested in your family should be someone who has had breast, ovarian, or another BRCA-related cancer. Genet Med. When you take an at-home test, you are, in many ways, on your own. Generally, genetic counseling and treatment planning are arranged along with it. Genetic testing can be done on samples of blood or saliva, or from a swab of the inside of a cheek. Learn more about the types of family health history risk categories for which genetic testing may be appropriate and about genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It is not clear exactly how and why breast cancer occurs. You can talk to a doctor about getting a referral to a genetic counselor, who can help determine whether genetic testing would make sense based on family history and risk factors. Breastcancer.org’s EIN is 23-3082851. However, when a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer is present, there may be reason to believe that a person has inherited an abnormal gene linked to higher breast cancer risk. Dr. Moawad regularly writes and edits health and career content for medical books and publications. Most breast and ovarian cancer is not caused by inherited mutations, so genetic testing will not help most women with a family health history of breast and ovarian cancer. Consider having a friend or family member accompany you to help ask questions or take notes. The results of genetic testing aren't always clear. Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope. The results of genetic testing might come back as: To learn more about these different types of test results, see What Happens During Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk? Document your personal medical history, including collecting records from specialists or results of previous genetic testing, if available. And some women have even taken the more drastic step of preemptively having surgical treatment— even in the absence of cancer. Taking charge of your own health is an empowering step. This tool is designed to quickly identify who should be referred for cancer genetic counseling to formally evaluate their family history and discuss the benefits and limitations of genetic testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. If none of your family members who have had one of these cancers are available for genetic testing, then genetic testing can start with an unaffected person. A negative test result doesn't mean you definitely won't get breast cancer. What Is Your Cancer Risk If You Have a BRCA2 Mutation? Clinical breast examinations (at your annual well check), mammograms (starting at age 45, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor), and monthly breast self-exams are among the most trusted ways to screen for breast cancer. Genetic testing is available for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The level of risk, appropriate screening and prevention options, and need for additional genetic testing will vary for each person and each family. What kind of impact does stress have on breast cancer? A doctor, nurse or medical technician inserts a needle into a vein, usually in your arm, to draw the blood sample needed for testing. If other family members decide to get genetic testing, their test should check for the same mutation you have. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Your doctor might recommend testing for these gene mutations, too, based on your family history of cancer. Women with breast cancer genes have had procedures such as mastectomy (removal of breasts), oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) because some breast cancer mutations are also associated with an increased risk of ovarian or uterine cancer.

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