I know the the prospect of discovering that you may have a genetic mutation can be frightening at first. However, having the knowledge that you do or do not have a genetic mutation can be empowering. Perhaps you’ve lived your life in fear of getting breast or ovarian cancer, and you have a 50% of finding out that you may not have a risk at all. Or if find out you are positive for a BRCA gene mutation you could be more empowered to make informed decisions and possibly save the lives of other family members.
Knowledge is power. If your results come back positive, you can take steps to reduce your chance of developing both breast and ovarian cancers or detect these cancers at a treatable, non-life threatening stage. This applies to future generations as well: by knowing their risk, your daughter and other relatives will have the opportunity to develop a proactive strategy for their health. Also, by having the positive results your insurance usually approves more aggressive surveillance and testing (MRIs, Multiple ultrasounds, CA125 Blood tests), tests that are usually not covered by insurance for the general population because they are deemed expensive and unnecessary. Also, knowing your results empowers you to have more in depth conversations with your team of health professionals to help you make informed decisions for all of life's future moments (getting pregnant, breastfeeding, the effects of medications, birth control options, early menopause, etc).
If you find out you are negative for the BRCA mutation you can breath easier knowing your risk of developing breast and ovarion cancer is lower than you may have suspected. Even if your genetic test comes back negative, you still carry an increased risk of developing cancer (based on the family history) and could benefit from taking steps to reduce your chance of developing both breast and ovarian cancers or detecting these cancers at a treatable, non-life threatening stage.
But the bottom line is this: identifying a hereditary risk and alerting your loved ones allows you to play a critical role in possibly preventing them and you from ever from developing breast and ovarian cancer.
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