Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer

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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.

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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.