What is a BRCA genetic test?
A BRCA genetic test looks for changes, known as mutations, in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Genes are parts of DNA passed down from your mother and father. They carry information that determines your unique traits, such as height and eye colour. Genes are also responsible for certain health conditions. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that protect cells by making proteins that help prevent tumours from forming.
A mutation in a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene can cause cell damage that may lead to cancer. Women with a mutated BRCA gene have a higher risk of getting breast-ovarian cancer. Men with a mutated BRCA gene are at a higher risk of getting breast prostate cancer. Not everyone who inherits a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will get cancer. Other factors, including your lifestyle and environment, can affect your cancer risk.
Why do I need a BRCA genetic test?
BRCA testing is not recommended for most people. BRCA gene mutations are rare, affecting only about 0.2 per cent of the U.S. population. But you may want this test if you think you are at a higher risk of having the mutation. You are more likely to have a BRCA mutation if you:
- Have or had breast cancer that was diagnosed before age 50
- Have or had breast cancer in both breasts
- Have or had both breast and ovarian cancer
- Have one or more family members with breast cancer
- Have a male relative with breast cancer
- Have a relative already diagnosed with a BRCA mutation
What is Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer?
A diagnosis of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) is considered when there are multiple cases of breast cancer ovarian cancer on the same side of the family. The chance that a family has HBOC increases in any of these situations:
There are breast and/or ovarian cancers in multiple generations on the same side of the family, such as having both a grandmother and an aunt on the father’s side diagnosed with these cancers A woman is diagnosed with second breast cancer in the same or the other breast or has both breast and ovarian cancers male relative is diagnosed with breast cancer.
What causes HBOC?
HBOC is an inherited genetic condition. This means that the cancer risk is passed from generation to generation in a family. There are 2 primary genes linked with most families who have HBOC: BRCA1 and BRCA2. BRCA stands for BReast CAncer. A “mutation,” or harmful genetic change, in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 gives a woman an increased lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Men with these gene mutations also have an increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. There is a slight increase in the risk of other cancers including pancreatic cancer and melanoma among people with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
What do the results mean?
Most results are described as negative, uncertain, or positive, and typically mean the following:
A negative result means no BRCA gene mutation was found, but it doesn’t mean you won’t ever get cancer.
An uncertain result means some kind of BRCA gene mutation was found, but it may or may not be linked with increased cancer risk. You may need more tests and/or monitoring if your results were uncertain.
A positive result means a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 was found. These mutations put you at a higher risk of getting cancer. But not everyone with the mutation gets cancer.
What Are My Options if I Have a ‘Cancer Gene’?
Women in high-risk categories (first-degree relative with breast cancer, previous abnormal breast biopsy results with atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ) and those who have the genes linked with breast cancer should consider starting regular breast cancer screening at age 25, or 10 years earlier than the age of the youngest relative with breast cancer at the time of their diagnosis. Some women choose to have a preventive (prophylactic) mastectomy to lower their chances of breast cancer. It’s also possible to have your ovaries and fallopian tubes were taken out. This doesn’t get rid of all risk, but it does significantly lower it.
How to book an appointment for BRCA Test?
Call on 04049171772 to book an appointment for BRCA Test