4 Things to Know About BRCA Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing

Rosa Lapalombella

On June 13, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA cannot be subject to patent.

What does this mean for you? Because there is no routine cancer, it is crucial to study an individual’s genetic makeup. Now, physicians and other healthcare providers can offer more high-quality, affordable options to study your genetics and assess cancer risk, including genetic tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

Why get tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations?

  • A woman’s risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.
  • Men with these mutations also have an increased risk of breast cancer, and both men and women who have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may be at increased risk of additional types of cancer.
  • Genetic tests can check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in people with a family history of cancer that suggests the presence of a harmful mutation in one of these genes.
  • If a harmful mutation is found, options are available to help a person manage cancer risk.

Visit cancer.osu.edu/Frontiers to learn more about the Supreme Court ruling. If you believe you may benefit from genetic testing for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, call The James Line at 1-800-293-600 to schedule an appointment with a genetic counselor.

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