Saturday, July 2, 2016

Genetic Testing

So if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, there is a strong chance you have one of the two BRCA genes. And now if you have BRCA1, there is a significantly increased risk of uterine cancer - 22 times higher in a recent small study.

I read that and said 'wow!'. I am somewhat surprised this was never figured out before.

Earlier this week I was talking with a friend and she was tested for BRCA back in the early 2000's when the testing was just starting. She told me that the testing is now done differently as technology has changed. And the test now includes several other genes including ones for colon cancer. When I see my oncologist next month, I will ask about testing.

With my medical history I was previously tested for another gene and was told I didn't have it but probably another gene that hadn't yet been discovered. so maybe its time for another test.

Since I had gone through genetic testing once, I have gone through the thought process before, I have some experience. If you get tested for genes and find out you don't have it, you get to take a deep sigh of relief.

But if you do have the gene, I think its a bit challenging. First of all, where did you get the gene? You don't get to blame anyone so forget about that route. And you could have been the first with the mutation. And someone could have had the gene and not had any cancers. (Just because you have a gene it doesn't mean you will get cancer, it might just increase you cancer risk.)

Then once you get past that part, how do you tell people? Who do you tell? I thought about who I would tell and who needed to know and who would panic/overreact. My siblings obviously needed to know. One is married with children and they would need to be screened. And then and etc.

I think knowing that certain family members would overreact, well let me say I would expect and overreaction based on their previous reactions to other issues, did not fill me with warm fuzzies. Because of that, this is something I have rarely talked about it and never told family members (because it was negative). If I had the gene, it would have been another story.

Now that I am going to ask about testing, I might have to cope with that.... But I'll wait until then, and take a deep breath.

1 comment:

Tanui said...

So if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, there is a strong chance you have one of the two BRCA genes.