What are the benefits of genetic testing for breast cancer?

Is genetic testing for breast cancer accurate?

Genetic testing is not 100% accurate. If a test is negative, a person still has a chance of getting breast cancer. If the test is positive, there is still a 15% to 20% chance of not getting breast cancer. Genetic testing is costly, ranging from about $400 to more than $3,000, depending on the type of test.

What are 3 benefits of genetic testing?

Some advantages, or pros, of genetic testing, include:

  • A sense of relief from uncertainty.
  • A greater understanding of your health and your cancer risk.
  • Information to help make informed medical and lifestyle decisions.
  • Opportunity to help educate other family members about the potential risk.

What does genetic testing mean for breast cancer?

Genetic testing gives people the chance to learn if their breast cancer or family history of breast cancer is due to an inherited gene mutation. This section provides information on genetic counseling and the benefits and risks of testing for inherited gene mutations that increase breast cancer risk.

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Why is genetic testing important for cancer?

For people who are already diagnosed with a cancer, results of genetic testing may help them make decisions about their treatment and understand their risk for other cancers. Genetic testing provides an opportunity for family members to learn about their own cancer risks.

How long does genetic testing take for breast cancer?

Counselors can administer the test and properly interpret the results when they’re in — they take about three weeks. Genetic tests can be done in a primary-care doctor’s office.

What are the potential problems with genetic testing?

Generally genetic tests have little physical risk. Blood and cheek swab tests have almost no risk. However, prenatal testing such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling has a small risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage). Genetic testing can have emotional, social and financial risks as well.

Why you shouldn’t do genetic testing?

Some disadvantages, or risks, that come from genetic testing can include: Testing may increase anxiety and stress for some individuals. Testing does not eliminate a person’s risk for cancer. Results in some cases may return inconclusive or uncertain.

Why would a doctor order genetic testing?

Genetic testing is useful in many areas of medicine and can change the medical care you or your family member receives. For example, genetic testing can provide a diagnosis for a genetic condition such as Fragile X or information about your risk to develop cancer. There are many different kinds of genetic tests.

How expensive is genetic testing?

The cost of genetic testing can range from under $100 to more than $2,000, depending on the nature and complexity of the test. The cost increases if more than one test is necessary or if multiple family members must be tested to obtain a meaningful result. For newborn screening, costs vary by state.

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What are the disadvantages to undergoing genetic testing for breast cancer?


  • It’s not yet clear exactly what you should or shouldn’t do once you get your genetic test results. …
  • Removing the breasts and ovaries to lower cancer risk (called prophylactic surgery) does not get rid of every breast- and ovary-related cell. …
  • Normal test results don’t guarantee healthy genes.

Does insurance cover breast cancer genetic testing?

Most insurance companies will cover the cost of genetic testing if you meet the conditions for testing. Finding out that you have a BRCA gene change should not affect your ability to get a job or get health insurance.

Is breast cancer inherited from mother or father?

About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they result directly from gene changes (mutations) passed on from a parent. BRCA1 and BRCA2: The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.