I was just wondering if anyone had seen this test used much, how reliable that it seems to be, and when would it be recommended. I have been reading some about it, and wanted to get some input.
Sep 26, '06
I'm not sure I followed your question but those are part of the panel for genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer. THey are a blood test to detemine the presence/absence of the mutations. Above all ... before you have a lab or outside company draw blood for these tests...it is highly recommended that you first meet with an APN/Genetics RN/Genetic Counselor to discuss risk, family history, to see if that would be appropriate and then learn about what the test means, results and discuss what you would do with that information, etc... it is about a 3-4 step process that involves education, informed consent, counseling, recommendations, screening...most major cancer centers will offer a "Genetics or Risk Assessment Program". Their are a lot of psychosocial considerations as well. The programs are designed to support and educate you. Plus many insurance companies can be a road block for this and the tests are expense.
It is best to be in a supportive, experienced team in approaching this. I can give you some websites that would be great resources for more info, finding a program near you, making the decision about testing, etc.
Oct 19, '06
I just took a class on caring for the oncology patient this week and we discussed this subject. It is not a test that is widely used yet, but is being encouraged for those with high family risk. It is a test that detects the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on the DNA which is used to determine higher incidence of family risk. I was told by the Breast cancer navigator (a nurse specializing in the genetic testing) that it is best to test a family member that has been directly affected by breast cancer to determine whether or not the cancer was caused by the mutation or other means, this will help determine risk for other family members as well if determined that the mutation is present. Keep in mind that the mutation will not always be passed on as with all other genes, so not every family member will be affected, but risk is increased. The test is fairly expensive, but surprisingly most insurance companies are cooperating, especially since the discrimination issue has arose. It is my understanding that they are unable to discriminate who is eligible to be tested. Testing eligibility is however determined by the facility providing the testing, you must first meet criteria, including family history. For many people who have high incidence in their faimly this must be a Godsend. I think it is spectacular that this opportunity has been made possible.
Mar 3, '07
I work at one of the Regional Comprehensive Cancer Centers, and our CCC has a genetics counseling program that is doing this.
My mother died from metastatic breast cancer and I am thinking SO VERY SERIOUSLY about having it done. I have still been doing some reading about it, and have been talking with some of the docs that I work with about it.
I too have heard that the insurance companies are moving their roadblocks from the testing because of the discrimination and because of the information that they have for the future........ they pay for PSA tests, they pay for mammograms, they pay for paps......... why not do this........
I think that it is a wonderful thing. Now just to make the appointment.
Mar 6, '07
I've been tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2, and am BRCA1+. I was tested several years ago when I had breast cancer; I was fourth generation in my family to have breast cancer and the genetic counselor said he was 90% positive that I would have one of the gene mutations, and he was right.
The genetic counselor told me that insurance almost always pays for the genetic testing when a cancer diagnosis is involved (either for the patient or a close family member of the patient's, for instance, my mother, sister, and aunts' genetic testing will be covered by insurance because of the cancer dx). Also, he told me it is illegal for health insurance companies to discriminate (e.g., refuse to cover) due to a positive genetic test....life insurance is a different story, however.
Mar 6, '07
Thanks for sharing your information!!
As I said before I am seriously thinking about doing this. Now to determine what I would do if I had a positive mutation and to make the appointment.
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