Have you wondered if you are at risk for Breast Cancer?
Women in the U.S. have a “1 in 8” (or about 12 percent) lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This means for every 8 women in the U.S., 1 will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
The BRCA gene test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes (mutations) in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2.
A BRCA gene test is done to find out if you have BRCA gene changes that increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
You may be more likely to have a BRCA gene change if you:
- Were diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50.
- Have had breast cancer in both breasts.
- Have had breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- Have one or more male family members who have had breast cancer.
- Have multiple cases of breast cancer in your family.
- Have at least one family member who has had BRCA-related cancer.
- Are an Ashkenazi Jew (a Jewish person whose ancestors came from Eastern Europe).
The results of a BRCA gene test can help you find out how high your cancer risk is. If it is high, you might decide to take steps to lower your risk.
There are several things you might do, such as:
- Have checkups and tests more often.
- Have surgery to remove your breasts.
- Have surgery to remove your ovaries.
- Take medicines that may help prevent breast cancer.
If you have a family member who has breast or ovarian cancer, you may want to ask that family member to have a gene test first. If your relative’s test finds a changed BRCA gene, you and other family members can then be tested for that specific gene change. But if your family member’s test is negative, it is not likely that you carry the gene change.
What is the difference between BRCA1 and BRCA2?
The genes are very similar. But harmful mutations in BRCA1 can lead to breast cancers that are harder to treat because they don’t respond to hormone therapies used to treat tumors that occur more often in women with BRCA2 mutations.
Details About The Test
A breast cancer gene test (BRCA) is a blood test to check for changes (mutations) in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. This test will help you to know if you are at risk or have a chance of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. This test DOES NOT test for cancer itself.
This test is only done for people who have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer or who already have one of these diseases. If none of these is true for you, you are not likely to have a BRCA gene change. Only about 2 or 3 out of 1,000 adult women have a BRCA gene change. That means 997 or 998 out of 1,000 women do not have this change.
Before you have any tests done, you should call your health insurance company to understand your benefits; many specialized tests are not covered under standard plans and there will be an extra cost.
You can call our office if you are interested in getting the Breast Cancer (BRCA) Gene Test (949) 566-8179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org