Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
Genetic testing involves taking a sample of blood, cheek swab, or tissue in order to analyze a person’s genes. Genetic testing can be used to determine if someone has a change in their genes (mutation) that make them more likely to develop certain diseases such as cancer. Tests that measure likelihood for a disease are called “predictive genetic tests.”
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most common genes involved in hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Testing can be performed on either a blood or cheek swab sample to tell if a person has one of these BRCA mutations. This test does not detect whether a person has cancer or not; it indicates whether a person carries a change in one of these genes which can increase cancer risk.
Genetic testing can be complex:
For these reasons, it is important to speak with a specialist in cancer genetics if you are concerned that cancer may run in your family or if you are interested in genetic testing.