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The Benefits of BRCA Analysis Testing

According to statistics at breastcancer.org, 1 in 8 women over their lifetime will get breast cancer. And this year, over 250,000 new cases are expected. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, over 20,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are expected. Both cancers increase in risk as women get older, but they can occur in women of many ages depending on family history, genetic factors, and other issues. So, testing for both types of cancer can help to reduce the risk. For this, patients can get screenings with a BRCA gene test.

FemmPro OB/GYN  offers BRCA gene testing in both its Garden City and North Massapequa, NY area offices, in addition to a wide range of OB/GYN services. 

Understanding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer

Cancers are a type of disease where abnormal cell growth can destroy healthy tissue. In breast and ovarian cancer (as well as most cancers), cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and affect vital organs. The risk of breast and ovarian cancer can be increased by certain hereditary factors, possibly passing them down from parent to child.

The gene mutations researchers are most familiar with are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (the BRCA stands for Breast Cancer A type mutation). While it's not a guarantee that someone will get cancer, it is more likely if you carry either gene. The same mutations can exist in both cancers, but the chances of it being passed down in ovarian cancer are not as great as breast cancer.

How BRCA testing may help you

This test is for patients who have a greater chance of inheriting mutated genes through family or personal history. The BRCA gene test uses blood to analyze DNA to identify possible harmful changes (mutations) in the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 genes. Patients with the inherited gene have a much higher risk of getting cancer (including melanoma or breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer) than the general population.

If a patient has the genes, they can work with their medical team to manage the condition and get proper treatment. If the patient does not, it does not rule out having an undiscovered mutation. 

Who should be tested?

This type of test is not for everyone. People with a personal history of cancer should get checked, and people with 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree relatives (immediate family, grandparents, cousins, aunts, etc.) who have cancer. Multiple relatives with cancer also increase the risk. People who have had cancer diagnosed at a young age may also be at risk.

The BRCA test is for people at a specific risk for certain types of cancer. So, if you believe you may be at risk or have questions, make an appointment with the doctors at FemmPro OB/GYN to get answers today.  

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