Hereditary Cancer Testing for Breast & Ovarian Cancer
The patent for BRCA1/2 testing has been overturned and now testing can be offered to all for a realistic price.
The genetic laboratory offers a DNA based test to confirm the presence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. It is well known that these BRCA mutations are responsible for the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.
People with a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have risks of up to 87% for developing breast cancer and up to 44% for developing ovarian cancer by the age of 70.
BRCA1/2 testing assesses a woman’s risk of developing hereditary breast or ovarian cancer based on the detection of mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. This test has become the standard of care in identification of individuals with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Mutation carriers previously diagnosed with cancer also have a significantly increased risk of developing a second primary cancer. Genetic testing, specifically the BRCA test identifies patients who have these mutations.
BRCA1/2 testing requires a simple buccal cheek swab and these samples are then sent to our laboratory for a clinical precise analysis of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Because of the importance of the results, Viaguard Accu-metrics offers a 1 week turnaround and knowing these results early may help you and your healthcare provider act before cancer has a chance to develop.
Benefits of BRCA1/2 Testing
The results of the BRCA1/2 test enable the development of patient-specific medical management plans to significantly reduce the risk of cancer.
Approximately 7% of breast cancer and 11 – 15% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. When someone carries a mutation in either of these genes, they have a increase chance of Breast and Ovarian Cancer. When assessing the risk of carrying these mutations a patient’s personal and family history is collected to investigate the risk for these cancers. Once a patient is identified as being at increased risk of Breast and Ovarian cancer, genetic test results provide the most accurate means of cancer risk assessment for a patient.
The chance that a family has Breast and Ovarian Cancer increases in any of these situations:
- One or more women are diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50
- There is breast or ovarian cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family (such as mother and daughter)
- A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer twice or has both breast and ovarian cancers
- A male relative is diagnosed with breast cancer
BRCA mutations are also known to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in men. Male breast cancer is rare, however – only about 2,000 men are diagnosed each year in the U.S. For males with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk of breast cancer by age 80 has been estimated at 6.9%. Their own risk aside, it is important for men to know whether they are carriers of BRCA mutations because they have a 50% chance of passing the mutation on to their daughters, who would then be at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer. The mothers and sisters of men who carry one of these mutations also have a 50% chance of being a carrier.