Should I be screened for BRAC?
October 24, 2011 12:53 PM Subscribe
What potential drawbacks could there be if I get tested for the BRAC1 or 2 mutation?
posted by Kitty Stardust to health & fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
At my last doctor's visit the physician's assistant recommended I get genetic screening for BRAC1 and 2 (indicators of higher risk for breast & ovarian cancer). She showed me a laundry list of risk factors I have (familial history, over 30 & never been pregnant, family members diagnosed before age 50 ) and said that if I did test positive, they would screen more aggressively and use the information to plan early detection visits. All of that sounds fine, and honestly, I think it's a great idea to be screen more frequently because of how many women in my lineage have had breast cancer, but I'd like to know more about potential downsides before I proceed.
1. Could the discovery of such a mutation cause my health insurer to drop me, or make me uninsurable in the future?
2. I understand that having this mutation may result in recommendations for mastectomy (full or partial) to be pushed if there ever is a discovery of cancer. I would really rather not undergo such radical treatment in the event a small lump or tumor is ever found. Is mastectomy recommended in patients with BRAC mutations more frequently than in the general populace?
Details: I'm in the U.S., mixed Latino/White ethnicity, pay for private health insurance, mother has been successfully treated for breast cancer thrice, on hormonal BC for over 10 years, might try to have kids in a year or so, no other major health issues.