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Are You a Good Candidate For Genetic Testing?

  • Department of:
  • Adena Regional Medical Center

If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be wondering about your own risk for developing the disease.

It is estimated that just 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers in the United States are hereditary, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The most common genes involved are BRCA1 and BRCA2, known as tumor suppressors. Women who inherit a mutation of one of these genes are five times as likely to develop breast cancer as a woman without the mutation, reports the National Cancer Institute. A study showed that 60 percent of women with this BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer, compared with 12 percent of women in the general population.

Are you a good candidate for genetic testing?

Just because a family member has breast cancer does not mean you will develop the disease. However, if you are concerned about your family history, genetic testing is an option.

Adena offers a simple genetic test that can determine if you have a gene mutation that could heighten your breast cancer risk. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may wish to consider testing.

  1. Have three or more of your relatives been diagnosed with breast cancer?
  2. Was one of your relatives diagnosed before the age of 50?
  3. Has a family member developed more than one type of cancer?
  4. Has a family member developed cancer in both breasts?

Considering your options

Genetic testing is fast and painless. The specialists at Adena will take a blood sample or use a cotton swab to collect cells from the inside of your mouth.

Based on the results, you may choose to take precautions such as a personalized mammogram screening schedule, medication or a preventative mastectomy.

To schedule genetic testing, call our breast cancer patient navigator at 740-542-3068. To better understand your genetic and other risk factors for breast cancer, contact the Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Clinic at Adena.

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