Tags: Cancer | breast | cancer | gene | brca

Should I Have Breast Cancer Gene Testing?

By    |   Friday, 19 June 2015 01:42 PM

Question: My mother had breast cancer and I’m trying to decide if I should have the BRCA1, BRCA2 gene tests. What do you think?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Generally, the answer to your question is very clear.

Do you want to assess your risks and are you willing to take preventive strategies, or would you prefer to be caught by surprise the way your mother was?

Remember that a positive test for BRCA1 or BRCA2 – genes linked to breast cancer – means you have an elevated risk of developing a malignancy, and a higher rate of recurrence if you have previously had breast carcinoma.

Unfortunately, BRACA-positive individuals have a higher incidence of what are called “receptor negative cancers,” negating some of our treatments and preventive agents. As a result, many patients suffer from more aggressive malignancies with poorer prognoses.

But it does not necessarily mean you will get breast cancer, but have a higher risk than women without the gene mutation.

I’d recommend that you get screened, but be aware that if you are BRCA-negative you still have elevated risks because of your family history. BRCA-positive individuals are best placed into an enhanced screening group for earlier detection, and may be advised of various medical or surgical preventive strategies not generally available to lower risk individuals.

Knowledge is power, but use it wisely.

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Generally, the answer to this question is very clear: Yes.
breast, cancer, gene, brca
Friday, 19 June 2015 01:42 PM
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