Watch the video that covers the BRCA basics from start to finish. You’ll find information on what a BRCA mutation is, why it’s important to get tested for one, and how to start the testing process with your doctor.
If you are a woman with breast or ovarian cancer, you should consider BRCA testing. Testing positive for a BRCA mutation determines whether or not you can receive certain treatments. Several national guidelines recommend that certain women with breast or ovarian cancer get BRCA tested:
If your family has a history of cancer, talk to your doctor about getting BRCA tested. If you have an inherited BRCA mutation, you could be at an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Although BRCA is more commonly associated with breast and ovarian cancer, it’s important to note that men are also impacted by BRCA mutations. They should talk to their doctor and seek out testing to assess their own risk of developing cancer and the risk of passing a mutation along to their children.
Knowing your BRCA status can help doctors decide on potential treatment options, such as targeted therapy. It can also help inform others in your family about their own cancer risk.Reasons to Get BRCA Tested
Knowing your BRCA status will let you know if you’re at an increased risk of developing certain cancers. From there, you and your doctor can screen for cancer more frequently or decide to take preventive action. Finding out that you have a BRCA mutation can also prompt other family members to get tested to see if they are at risk.When BRCA Testing Can Help
A germline test detects a hereditary BRCA mutation. This means that the mutation can be passed down within families. This type of test will inform you and your family about their potential risk of developing cancer and can be done at any time. It usually involves a DNA sample, such as blood or saliva.
A somatic test detects BRCA mutations but doesn’t identify if they are hereditary. This means that this type of test does not provide family risk information and can only be done in people who have cancer. Testing procedures usually involve removing a sample of the tumor tissue.