Discover why testing is important for you
Knowing if you have a mutation in a cancer gene can save your life...
Everyone has genes that help prevent their bodies from developing cancer. We call these “cancer genes.” If there is a harmful mutation in one of these genes, it will not work properly, significantly increasing the risk for cancer.
You may want to consider cancer genetic testing – even if you are healthy – because the results may alert you to possible cancer risks before symptoms develop.
Those who test positive may take steps to prevent cancer from developing, or to detect it at an early, treatable stage.
…and the lives of your loved ones
The GINA law protects against employment and health insurance discrimination based on genetic information. The law applies to most businesses with 15+ employees as well as most health insurance providers. However, if you do have a positive result and apply for other types of insurance, such as life and disability, you may be subject to higher premiums or exclusion from coverage. You might consider getting your insurance plans in place before you test. Exceptions and information about the GINA law can be found at www.ginahelp.org.
Testing complete. Now what?
There is a mutation in a gene that increases the chance for certain types of cancer. While mutations increase cancer risk, not everyone with a mutation will develop cancer.
No disease-causing mutations were found in the genes that were tested. Continue to follow recommendations for routine cancer screening.
3. Variant of uncertain significance:
There is a genetic variation that has an unknown impact on cancer risk and does not warrant changes to medical management. Often, these variants are found to be harmless.
What happens if you test positive?
Options May Include:
Increased and/or more frequent cancer screening (for example, mammogram, colonoscopy, prostate exam, skin cancer screening)
Preventative risk-reducing surgeries (for example, mastectomy, removal of colon)
Lifestyle modifications (for example, reduced alcohol consumption)
Assisted reproductive technologies to avoid passing down mutations to your future children (for example, in-vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic testing)
Support services for those who test positive for breast and/or ovarian cancer genes are available through Sharsheret. For more information, please visit: https://sharsheret.org/brcagenetics/jscreen/