Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer

Genetic testing for cancer susceptibility is an important area of medicine. We are committed to cancer prevention, early detection and improved disease management. Our Center is equipped with the tools to facilitate proper patient identification and risk assessment.

Our Center provides education on genetic testing, performs the testing as well as provides resources and personnel that assist with insurance billing.

High risk patients should consider genetic testing at the time of their initial breast cancer diagnosis. This information may change our recommendations for you and may decrease the risk of you developing additional disease in the future.

FACTS:

Young patients with germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have a higher risk of developing ipsilateral and contralateral second primary tumors than women with sporadic breast cancer. Therefore, knowing the mutation status of women diagnosed with breast cancer is essential to providing mutation-positive women with appropriate medical management options that may significantly reduce the risk of future breast cancer diagnosis.

Without additional intervention and education, the risk of a second primary breast cancer in the contralateral breast in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is approximately 40% in 10 years. This risk is reduced in women who take tamoxifen or who have a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

The risk of ovarian cancer following breast cancer with BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutations is increased significantly. Knowing a woman’s mutation status allows for appropriate medical management options to be discussed, for example, increase surveillance and the chance to prevent the development of ovarian cancer in these patients.

Consider testing if you meet any of the following criteria:

  1. You have breast cancer or ovarian cancer and you have:
    • One or more first degree relatives (mother, father, sister, daughter) or second degree relatives (aunt, uncle, grandmother, niece, granddaughter) with breast cancer before age 50
    • One or more first or second degree relatives with ovarian cancer
    • One or more first or second degree relatives with male breast cancer
  2. You have a personal history of any of the following:
    • Breast cancer before age 50
    • Ovarian cancer at any age
    • Male breast cancer at any age
    • Bilateral breast cancer
    • Both breast and ovarian cancer
  3. You have no known disease, however you have a family member with a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
  4. You are of Ashkenazi Jewish decent and have breast cancer or ovarian cancer