Ten percent of all
breast and ovarian cancers are hereditary. The
majority of heredity and ovarian cancer is due
to a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
These mutations can be inherited from either your
mother or father. Individuals who are found to
be positive for either the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 carry
an increased risk for breast cancer of approximately
87% and approximately 44% for ovarian cancer (Myriad,
Individuals who should consider genetic testing
are those with a personal or family history of:
Breast cancer before age 50
Ovarian cancer at any age
Bilateral breast cancer
Male breast cancer
Relatives of a BRCA mutation carrier
Once an individual is identified
who might benefit from genetic counseling we refer
them to a healthcare provider available in our
office, who will have a thorough discussion about
what genetic counseling means, some of the potential
recommendations for treatment, or follow-up for
individuals who test positive for the gene mutation.
Testing is done by drawing a blood sample which
is sent to a special lab. The results usually
are back within 2 – 3 weeks. Some but not
all health insurance policies will cover the testing.
You should always check with your insurance provider
first before having the test as it can be expensive.