BRCA Gene Test, or Breast Cancer Genetic Test is a blood test for controlling cell growth in the body. , the main detection is the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. There is a risk of Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer or other cancers in both men and women. This test is usually for a person with a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, or who has had one of the two types of cancer, rather than for cancer detection.
Why You Should Take Breast Cancer Genetic Test?
If there is a risk of mutation in breast cancer, testing can prevent or track cancer development early, helping you make decisions about your health and lifestyle. It is recommended that one or more of the following conditions be tested:
- One first-degree relative has bilateral breast cancer
- 2 or more first-degree or second-degree relatives received ovarian cancer
- One relative has had breast cancer and ovarian cancer at the same time.
- One male relative has had breast cancer.
- Two first-degree relatives had breast cancer and one was diagnosed before the age of 50.
- There are 3 or more first-degree or second-degree relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer at any age.
- German Jewish women with ancestors from Eastern Europe and have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
- If a member of the family has detected a mutation in the breast cancer gene, other family members should also be tested.
If these risks are not met, the risk of mutation in breast cancer is less likely, and only 2 out of about 100 women are at risk of mutation. In addition, if there is a family history of breast cancer mutations and a family member has had breast cancer or ovarian cancer, the family member should first undergo breast cancer genetic testing.
Before Breast Cancer Genetic Test
Here’s how to prepare for breast cancer gene detection:
- It is not recommended for those who do not have a risk of breast cancer mutations because it is possible to get incorrect positive results.
- Sometimes doctors take different types of samples for DNA analysis, including saliva, or skin pieces.
- A genetic consultation prior to testing can help you better understand the benefits, risks, and possible results.
Breast Cancer Gene Detection Process
Breast cancer genes are tested in the form of blood, and it takes weeks to know the results.
After Breast Cancer Genetic Test
Post-test genetic counselling is important to understand the benefits, risks and subsequent arrangements of this test. If you have any questions about the test, you can also consult your doctor.
If a positive test is obtained, the subject can start thinking and discuss with the doctor what to do next, for example, whether to take any of the following precautions:
- For breast cancer: mammography, MRI, regular clinical mammography, prophylactic mastectomy (removal of bilateral breast), ovarian removal, medication (Tamosifen) , Tamoxifen), or consider having a child before the age of 30.
- For ovarian cancer: ovarian removal after birth or 35 years of age (ovarian removal).
Breast Cancer Gene Test Results
- No BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer mutations detected
- If your family has had breast cancer or ovarian cancer and your test is negative, you may not have a breast cancer gene mutation, which means you have the same chance of getting cancer as the general public.
- 5~10% of those with breast cancer and ovarian cancer are associated with breast cancer gene mutations.
- If you have a family history of high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, you may get breast cancer even if you test negative, and other gene mutations may cause cancer.
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer gene mutations
- In women with breast cancer mutations, up to 35 to 84% chance of breast cancer and 20% to 40% chance of ovarian cancer.
- Men with mutations in breast cancer have a higher chance of breast cancer or other cancers such as Pancreatic cancer, Testicular cancer or Prostate cancer.
Even if a gene mutation exists, it doesn’t necessarily mean cancer.
Definitions of normal values may vary depending on laboratories and hospitals.
Consult your doctor if you have any concerns.