Not a real patient.
FACT: Even if you have cancer, knowing your BRCA status can let you and your doctor know if you are eligible for certain treatment options that are specific to your unique type of cancer. It can also help inform your family of their own potential cancer risk.
FACT: Family history is important, but it doesn’t always predict cancer risk. If one parent has a BRCA mutation, there is a 50% (or 1 out of 2) chance that their child will also have the same mutation, increasing their risk of cancer. However, other factors can also increase the risk, such as age, weight, or diet.
FACT: Regardless of age or family history, it is never too late to get BRCA tested. You can test for an inherited BRCA mutation at any time with a germline test. Even if your cancer has already been diagnosed or has returned, you can still get tested. Knowing the truth about your BRCA status can empower you to take action.
FACT: Although it’s true that men cannot get ovarian cancer, they are at risk for the other cancers related to BRCA mutations. If they test positive for a BRCA mutation, they are still at increased risk of breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Men can also pass this genetic mutation on to their children, so finding out about a BRCA mutation can help inform the rest of their family about their own cancer risk.
FACT: Testing for a BRCA mutation is covered by most insurance plans. If your insurance provider does not offer coverage, there are some testing companies that offer testing at no charge for people who qualify. Contact your insurance provider directly to see if you’re covered. Certain states in the U.S. require insurance coverage for biomarker testing. Be sure to check with your insurance to confirm coverage for this.
If you’re interested in getting BRCA tested, talk to your doctor. Use information in the BRCA Guide to help start the conversation.