NorthBay Cancer Center - Radiation Oncology:
1020 Nut Tree Road, Vacaville, CA 95687
Did you know that 12% of people with breast cancer have a hereditary condition?
Genetic tests can find gene changes (also known as “variants”) that a person may be born with. These changes are called “germline” or “inherited” gene mutations. They can be passed from parent to child. Some inherited gene changes increase risk for cancer, and can cause cancer to run in families.
What are the most common hereditary conditions associated with breast cancer?
Hereditary breast cancer is most often associated with alterations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. These genes normally protect the body from developing cancer, but inherited changes can prevent them from doing their job. In some families with BRCA alterations, there are other types of cancers present, in addition to breast cancer. Other genes have also been linked to hereditary breast cancer, and your genetic counselor will determine which genes are important to test based on your personal or family history of cancer.
How much does breast cancer genetic testing cost?
For people who meet testing criteria, the cost is often covered by insurance, with an out-of-pocket expense typically under $100. There is also the “private pay” option for individuals who do not have insurance coverage (or do not meet testing criteria), but still wish to get tested. In this instance, the cost is $250 for a comprehensive test.
What does a positive test mean?
A positive genetic test does not mean you have cancer or will get cancer. It means you have a higher than average chance of getting cancer, and may benefit from enhanced screening. Early detection is key to fighting cancer.
If you have breast cancer, genetic testing may help guide treatment options. It may also provide an opportunity to participate in research trials. Family members can also learn how to take steps to reduce cancer risk.
Where do I start?
The decision to undergo genetic testing is an important one. Northbay Health has partnered with GenomeSmart to make it easier for you to learn if your personal or family history of cancer warrants consideration of genetic testing. Learn more about your genetic risk for inherited cancers with GenomeSmart here.
Comprehensive germline panel testing across cancer types: Diagnostic yield and clinical utility in 100,000 patient dataset. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.e13013 Journal of Clinical Oncology 37, no. Published online May 26, 2019.
Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals With Colorectal Cancer : J Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr 1;35(10):1086-1095. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.71.0012. Epub 2017 Jan 30.
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