Genetic Testing in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
If you have a family history or personal history of breast cancer, you might want to undergo BRCA genetic testing. This test can identify carriers of an inherited gene mutation that makes someone more susceptible to developing breast cancer.
Dr. Anjeanette Brown and her staff at The Premier Surgical Network are dedicated to breast health issues and have practiced both genetic testing and genetic counseling.
What is the breast cancer gene?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the two breast cancer gene mutations that elevate a person’s risk for the disease. Approximately 1 in 500 U.S. women has either one of these mutations. Those who carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 are six times more likely to develop breast cancer than people without the genes.
Who should be tested?
Only people who have a high probability of inheriting the BRCA gene mutation are candidates for this type of genetic testing.
Your likelihood increases if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You have a personal history of breast cancer under the age of 50 or when premenopausal
- You had triple negative breast cancer when you were 60 or younger
- You had bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)
- You had ovarian cancer
- You had ovarian and breast cancers
- You had breast cancer under any circumstances, and you have at least one family member who has breast cancer at a young age, one family member who had ovarian cancer, or more than one relative with either breast cancer or pancreatic cancer
- Two or more of your close family members—parents, siblings, or children—had breast cancer under 50 or when premenopausal
- You have a relative who had bilateral breast cancer
- You have a male family member who had breast cancer
- You have a family member who had ovarian cancer
- You have a relative who developed breast and ovarian cancers
- You have a relative who carries the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
- You are of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry and have a close relative who had breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer
What steps should you take to prepare?
Before your test, you should consult with a genetic counselor. He or she will need to know your personal and family history of breast and ovarian cancers to help determine if you are a candidate for breast cancer genetic testing. You will also talk about the risks and opportunities of undergoing this procedure.
The physical health risks of the blood test are nonexistent, but you may suffer emotional and psychological stresses, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, or family conflict after receiving your results, whether you are diagnosed with the BRCA mutation or not. A counselor can act as a support system and guide during your journey.
What results can you expect?
Your test results may take many weeks to come back. When you do receive your results, they might be confusing. A positive result means you do carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. A negative result indicates the mutation was not detected, but a true negative is not guaranteed unless it can be compared to a relative’s known BRCA mutation. Your test might also deliver an uncertain or ambiguous result, meaning that a genetic variant has been discovered, but it might not be associated with an elevated risk of cancer. Your genetic counselor is a good resource for you if you receive this result.
Schedule your genetic testing by calling (609) 204-5357.