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Concerns about Breast Cancer Family History
Questions on genetics, family history & breast cancer.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
2/21/2018What is the point of denying the BRCA 1-2 test for patientís with adopted and unknown family history?
Selecting lumpectomy vs mastectomy for known cancer in a current patient means the burden of selection is on the patient without adequate diagnostics. If an MD/surgeon had to make this choice would the surgeon suggest bilataeral mastectomies because they donít know the family history?
Seems extreme me. Or would a surgeon suggest that a lumpectomy is a safe option with radiation (for one or two breasts). A negative BRACA 1-2 test means the MD can offer a lumpectomy w/radiation. In the absence of the test the surgeon is transferring the risk factor to the patient for choice without appropriate informed consent. Maybe it is time to rethink this inadequate policy of denial of a medical test.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
2/22/2018We do genetic testing on women who already have been diagnosed with breast cancer (if they meet certain criteria that would suggest their breast cancer is due to a gene mutation), or with a strong family history. Many women who carry the BRCA gene mutation will opt for bilateral mastectomy. I have not heard of women being "denied" genetic testing, however, some insurance companies may not pay for it.

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