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BRCA Testing
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tiffenyayscue82 posted:
My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 at the age of 30, she was tested and showed 2 tyoes were found, during her treatments of raditation she developed a 3rd type of breast cancer. She was tested positive for BRCA1 and 2, now my new OBGYN has read up on this and wants me to get tested for the gene. My old OBGYN never even mentioned it to me that is why I am wondering would it even be worth my time, please help. Thanks.
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judyfams responded:
There are many things for you to consider in making your decision. While the statistics say that you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer if a relative of the first degree (parent, sibling) has it you also need to further check your other blood relatives to see if there is/was breast cancer in distant relatives, aunts, grandparents cousins etc. Don't forget to include any male blood relatives who might have had breast cancer.
The greater the number of blood relatives who have or had breast cancer the higher is your % chance of developing breast cancer.
The next thing to consider is what would you do if you test positive? Are you mentally prepared for that outcome?
I would suggest that you decide what you would do if you test positive and then when you come to a decision about that you can be tested if you want to. Or you could just be vigilant about doing self exams and having mammo, MRI every 6 months since you are probably in a high risk category and insurance would then pay for a mammo every 6 months.
It's a difficult decision, but one that you need to make and have no regrets later on based on that decision.
I wish you good luck and please let us know what you decide.
Judy
 
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rachael67 responded:
I hope you can arrive at a decision with the least amount of worry. And I hope even more that the tests give you encouraging results! You are in my thoughts.

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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PinkLady44 responded:
As others have mentioned, the decision to test is ultimately up to you. I would suggest you seek the advice of a certified genetics counselor to guide you, however, and not just have your OB-GYN draw your blood and send off for testing. As Judy said, you need to look at a lot of other things such as family history. The good news in all of this is that since you know your sister's specific mutation(s), that is what they will test for rather than looking across all the spectrum of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. That will be less expensive (only a few hundred dollars) than the full panel, which is $3-$4,000 right now. Most insurance plans cover the testing, if deemed "medically necessary".

If you are not a mutation carrier, your risk of developing breast cancer is the same as the rest of the population - your risk is not elevated.

If you do have the same mutation(s) as your sister, then you have other options to consider - increased surveillance is definitely one of them. However, it does NOT mean you will get cancer - only that you have an increased risk.

I suggest you contact a genetics counselor in your area. If you don't know of one, you can look one up through a variety of resources, one of which is Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, www.facingourrisk.org . It's a non-profit org dedicated to those at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. There are also links to other resources and support groups there where you can post questions, too.

I am a BRCA1 mutation carrier, and did not know my status until after my sister passed away (at age 34) from breast cancer and my mom (at age 69) from ovarian cancer, and I myself had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I wanted to know "why". I have since learned a lot.

I wish you only the best in your decision-making.

Hugs,

Nan/PinkLady
 
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0910faith replied to PinkLady44's response:
Hi Tiffeny,
I'm so sorry you are faced with such heart wrenching
decisions and with dealing with your sister's breast
cancer. It is almost too much to bear at such a young age.
Seek all the advice you can get.
I have four first cousins that have died from breast cancer
and two aunts. They are all from my dad's side of the
family. My mom was the only girl on her side and she had
one brother. They didn't check for bc back then as they
didn't have Mammogram's or Ultra Sound testing.
My cancer didn't show on either test. My oncologist
suggested my daughter be tested. And she has two
daughters. I would want them to have as much information
as they can get.. They and you need to be here for a very
long time. If this test can help it should be researched
to the hilt.
lov n hugs
faith
 
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brcansur responded:
This is something that only you can decide on, But saying that I had the test done due to the fact that there are a lot of young girls in my family. I felt due to the fact I was dx with breast cancer that it was the least that I could do to help them out. I tested neg. That did make me feel better that it was not genetic, but then I got thinking ok if it isn't genetic then how did I get it and can my sister and neices still get it. So it is something that only you can decide at least if you get it and it is neg you know that it will not be something passed down the family line. That does help just knowing that and that your children have less a chance of getting cancer due to family genetics. I know it is a lot to think about you could make a list of pro and cons and the one with the most is the way you go. My guess is it will have more pros to it then cons. I wish you all the best and please don't let this stress you out it will just make it worse to decide on. My prayers are with you angel hugs Roberta.
Roberta


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