Who needs genetic testing for breast cancer?

breast cancer
Mammograms showing a normal breast (left) and a breast with cancer (right). Credit: Public Domain

Advances are regularly being made in cancer genetics. But, if patients aren't screened and diagnosed early enough, the advances can't save lives. A presentation at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in San Diego, October 3-6, will review the various genetic testing options for breast cancer, as well as profile those who should be tested.

It is estimated that 12-14% of breast cancers are related to hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. That means nearly 35,000 cases of every year are attributable to hereditary risk. When breast cancer is detected early enough, women have significantly better chances of survival. Those chances increase if the probability of getting breast cancer can be decreased through the use of various preventive medications and risk-reducing surgical procedures.

In her presentation at the upcoming NAMS Annual Meeting, Dr. Holly Pederson from the Cleveland Clinic will provide compelling data designed to encourage to be more proactive in identifying those patients most at risk and when to recommend genetic counseling and testing. She will discuss the various advances in genetic testing, including multigene panel testing, which is proving to be more effective and cost-efficient, as well as discuss emerging SNP panels and the pros and cons around direct to consumer tests.

"It is imperative that we identify those patients with a hereditary predisposition to breast cancer as early as possible" says Dr. Pederson. "If patients are concerned about the cost of , they can be reassured that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act identifies BRCA testing as a preventive service. Medicare provides coverage for affected patients with a qualifying personal history, and 97% of commercial insurers and most state Medicaid programs provide coverage for hereditary testing."

"Healthcare providers need to understand the importance of early screening and the advances being made in , making it possible to help save lives," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.


Explore further

Team identifies genes that increase risk for triple-negative breast cancer

Citation: Who needs genetic testing for breast cancer? (2018, October 3) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-10-genetic-breast-cancer.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more