Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer

Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer

A genetic test can be done to find mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, which are associated with higher risks for brest and ovarian cancer.
After actress Angelina Jolie announced she had a mutation in one of her BRCA genes, many people are wondering if they should be tested.

Doctors say the test is not for the general population, but people who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should talk to their primary physician about the test. The blood test is covered by some insurance companies.

If a genetic mutation is discovered in BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, patients can choose to increase the frequency of their cancer screenings, take medication, or undergo a preventative double mastectomy.

The mutation is rare, but people who test positive can have up to an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer compared to the 12 percent chance for most women.
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