Ask the On­col­o­gist

BRCA Ge­netic Test­ing

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Garden Party - By: Dr. Neeraj Bha­rany

Q: I saw the news about An­gelina Jolie’s de­ci­sion to un­dergo a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy. My grand­mother had breast can­cer, so I’ve been won­der­ing if I should also take the BRCA 1 test. What fac­tors should I con­sider?

A: Both women and men can carry a ge­netic mu­ta­tion, and there are sev­eral can­cers that a mu­ta­tion could cause in­clud­ing breast, ovar­ian, fal­lop­ian tube, stom­ach, colon, brain, thy­roid, kid­ney, melanoma, prostate, pan­cre­atic and oth­ers. Gene mu­ta­tions, like the BRCA 1 gene af­fil­i­ated with breast can­cer, can be passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. At Arkansas On­col­ogy, we of­fer ge­netic coun­sel­ing ser­vices to as­sess a pa­tient’s per­sonal and fam­ily his­tory to de­ter­mine the like­li­hood of an in­creased can­cer risk. With this in­for­ma­tion, pa­tients and their physi­cians can take steps to pre­vent the dis­ease or catch it at an ear­lier stage.

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