Health Tidbit: Breast Cancer Genes

As genetic testing is becoming more popular, there is an increased number of individuals that need to make the decision to go through the testing process. Because genetic testing can be highly expensive and a positive test can increase stress, it is important to examine all reasons why or why not you want to be tested. If there are several members of your close family (parent, sibling, grandparent) that have a disease such as breast cancer, it can be beneficial to be tested to see if you carry a BRCA gene. The March issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine touched one an important topic when it comes to breast cancer. Cosmo uncovered a scary fact- according to a study done in the Lancet Oncology journal, “doctors are five times less likely to refer women with a paternal history of the disease to a genetic counselor than they are those who had it on their mom’s side.” Because both mother and father have a fifty percent chance of passing on the gene, it is important to tell your doctor if anyone in your family had the disease.

Source: Cosmopolitan Magazine, March 2011

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