Is Genetic Breast Cancer Screening Right for You?

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Cancer researchers have identified many factors that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Some of these risk factors are modifiable through lifestyle changes, such as making the choice to limit alcohol consumption. Other risk factors, such as a genetic predisposition, aren’t considered to be controllable. Women in the Las Vegas area who are considering genetic testing for breast cancer may wish to speak with a physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Understanding BRCA1 and BRCA2

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that are responsible for manufacturing tumor suppressor proteins. Sometimes, a gene can have a mutation. If a mutation affects one of these genes, they may no longer be able to make tumor suppressor proteins properly. The mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can be inherited from the mother or the father. As you’ll learn when you watch this featured video, the risk of developing breast cancer increases substantially in people who have one of these gene mutations. The Ob/Gyn featured here explains that these genetic mutations can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Some women who have these genetic mutations decide to have a preventive mastectomy or preventive hysterectomy.

Defining Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is available from your local hospital. All that’s required is a sample of your blood or saliva. The sample is analyzed in a laboratory for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes .

Making a Decision

Not everyone is a good candidate for genetic testing because the gene mutations are not common in the general population. To decide whether it might be right for you, you could consider discussing it with your physician. Generally, this genetic test is recommended for women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing may also be recommended for women diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 50.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you can receive the highest level of patient care at the Cancer Care program at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . Our community hospital in Las Vegas offers the latest in cutting-edge treatment modalities and exceptional patient amenities to improve your comfort level. To request a physician referral, you can call our hospital at (702) 233-5300.

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