Breast and Ovarian Cancer Testing


Should I get Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 for High Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancer?

Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and one of the most common requests that we get.  Because genetic information provides information that can help modify risks testing is often indicated for patients that have a strong likelihood of developing Breast and Ovarian Cancer. The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently released guidelines that support cancer risk assessment and prevention services for individuals who are suspected to be at high risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.

Review of BRCA Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risks

Depending one your ethnic background, the lifetime risk for developing breast cancer is estimated around 12%.  The lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer is about 2%. There are genetic alterations that can be passed from parent to child that can increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer substantially.  Two genes identified to be associated with heridtary (inherited in families) breast and ovarian cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. The lifetime risk for developing cancer in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations is:

  • Up to 80% lifetime risk for developing breast cancer
  • Up to 40% lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer
  • Up to 40% lifetime risk for developing prostate cancer (in males)
  • Up to 10% lilfetime  risk for breast cancer in males
  • Up to 7% lifetime risk for developing pancreatic cancer

When Will I Get Cancer?

Not every individual, even with genetic and familial risk factors will get cancer?  We cannot predict if you will get cancer, we can only determine risk with the goal of taking steps both preventive and therapeutic for decreasing that risk.

Patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations are more likely to develop Breast and Ovarian Cancer at a young age

When should I consider BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing?

The American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests you thorough risk assessment.

Click Here for our Comprehensive Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Survey

For most individuals, BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing should be considered: If your have a Family Member with:

  • Breast Cancer diagnosed at age 50 or younger
  • Any individual with Ovarian Cancer
  • Both Breast and Ovarian Cancer
  • A Male with Breast Cancer
  • Are of Ashkenazi Jewish History
  • Pancreatic Cancer and breast or ovarian cancer in that side of the family
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Testing Services

The Genetic Medicine Clinic offers hereditary cancer risk assessment both in-office and Online, genetic counseling and genetic testing

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  • pathway
  • Baylor Miraca
  • Quest-Diagnostics
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