Should you do genetic testing? Why would you want to do genetic testing? If you did find out that you did have an altered gene then what? Every person has a altered gene of some sort. That doesn’t mean they would ever get an illness. Mutations of a gene are mostly harmless.
Mutations in genes could be inherited, or simply happen to a person in there lifetime. It doesn’t mean they would get any specific illness. There are specific altered inherited genes that could link to 5-10% of breast cancers.
Genetic testing is quite expensive, and could be quite emotional.
If you are found to have the inherited BRCA1 gene (BReast CAncer gene 1) or the BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2) how might this information be used? The normal genes do not affect you, but an abnormal gene could cause a breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
The problem is how would you handle this? Could you share this with your mother or sisters, and how might this upset any of them including yourself? Remembering that this genetic testing is of a high cost, and either way you may never get either cancers.
This is an individual decision, and must be given thought. Is this really worth the expense, time and emotional grief it could cause? Science has many research ideas, but we must think about what the outcome could be. Click here for Buffalo, New York’s genetic breast cancer testing.
More about: Roswell Park Cancer Institute