Who is a Candidate for Genetic Testing?

Q: Who is a candidate for genetic testing?⁠

A: I think the short answer is “everyone”. Imagine if we could give every breast cancer patient the power to prevent breast cancer in a loved-one—this is precisely what genetic testing can offer for every breast cancer patient. Approximately 10% of all women with breast cancer will test positive for a mutation linked to breast cancer. Their 1st-degree relatives have a 50% chance of having that very same mutation; by offering ‘cascade’ testing to their relatives, we can then potentially prevent their cancer or, at the very least, find it at its earliest stages. ⁠

Moreover, finding this mutation may impact surveillance and/or treatment options for all newly-diagnosed women. Historically, cost has been a major deterrent; however, the test is now covered by insurance for most cancer patients, and, if it isn’t, it can be done for ~$250. If you were tested in the past for a BRCA mutation, please return for MULTI-PANEL GENETIC TESTING—we have discovered many more mutations other than BRCA associated with breast cancer. . While obtaining life insurance may be more difficult, I would choose ‘life’ over life insurance’ any day. In short, please ‘pay it forward’ and get tested if you or a close relative have had breast cancer.⁠

Dr. Rosen