Genetic Testing and Counseling

Many women have questions about their risk of developing breast cancer. One of those questions may involve whether they have one (or both) of the genes scientists have identified as placing women at extremely high risk for developing the disease:

  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2

False Information about Genetic Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2

  • ”If you have one of these genes, that means you have – or will develop – breast cancer.” - FALSE
  • ”If you don’t have one of these genes, you won’t – or can’t – develop breast cancer.” - FALSE
  • ”Anyone who is concerned about developing breast cancer should be tested for BRAC1 and BRAC2.” - FALSE

At Evangelical, we want you to know the facts about genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 .

Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is Not a Test for Breast Cancer

Testing for BRCA1 or BRCA2 will not tell you if you have breast cancer. This test shows only whether someone has one or both of these altered (mutated or changed) genes.

Most People Who Have Breast Cancer Do NOT Have These Genes

Scientists estimate that just 7-10 percent of people who have breast cancer have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. This means that 90 percent or more of those with breast cancer do not have these genes.

Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is Not for Everyone

Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is appropriate only for a small number of people.

At Evangelical, a team of medical experts meets with each patient and performs a detailed risk assessment. This assessment includes a careful examination of the patient’s family history and other risk factors. Only those who qualify for genetic testing based on this assessment will have the opportunity to receive genetic testing.

Pros, Cons, and Limitations of Genetic Testing

If you qualify for genetic testing, one of our experienced, caring counselors will meet with you. The counselor will explain the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of the testing and the information it provides. You’ll then have the opportunity to decide if you would like to proceed with the testing.

The test itself involves a simple saliva test. When the results are ready, we’ll be there to help explain them to you, answer your questions, and offer the caring support you may need regarding the next steps involved in your care.

Questions? Want to schedule an appointment?