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What does the genetic test entail?


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Question from SCole: My sister, my grandmother, and one aunt have died from breast cancer. I have had a non-cancerous lump removed. Should I have my girls (ages 16 and 14) tested? What does the genetic test entail?
Answers - Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. Genetic testing is always more effective or informative if you start with the person affected with cancer first. So before deciding if your daughters should be tested, if there is a living affected relative with cancer, that would be the best person to test if they are willing. The process should involve a counseling session with a genetics professional. That could be a doctor, genetic counselor, or nurse with special training who can explain all of the risks and benefits and work with you to understand payment options and insurance coverage. The test is typically done by a commercial laboratory, called Myriad Genetics. One tube of blood is drawn and sent to that laboratory. Many insurance companies cover the testing, if you meet family history criteria established by the insurance company.
Terri McHugh The typical length of time for test results to be received is 3 weeks.
Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. In some academic centers, the genetic testing can also be done in the context of a research study.

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