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Are You At High Risk For Cancer? New Gene Test Finds Out

NewsChannel10.com, (Website of KFDA-TV), Amarillo

Amarillo, Texas - Imagine being able to change your own health destiny. A new cancer gene test that helps make that possible. A simple blood test can tell you if you're at risk of breast or ovarian cancer. It detects the BRCA gene. There are certain groups of people doctors say should get this test, because chances are good you carry the gene. You fall into that category if anyone in your family has had anything on this list:

Breast cancer before age 50
Ovarian cancer at any age
Bilateral breast cancer
Both breast and ovarian cancer diagnosed in the same person
Male breast cancer at any age
Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast or ovarian cancer at any age

Testing positive for the gene doesn't mean you'll absolutely get cancer, but it does mean your chances of getting it are increased significantly. Dr. Srini Reddy with Texas Oncology says, "Normal woman in their lifetime has a risk of about 12%. People who carry the BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutations, their risk is anywhere between 50 to 85% of getting breast cancer. Knowing you're at a greater risk allows your doctor to be more proactive in cancer screenings and early prevention. 

There is also a genetic test for colon cancer. Doctors suggest getting tested if anyone in your family has had colorectal cancer before age 50, endometrial cancer before age 50, or if there have been 2 or more Lynch syndrome cancers in the same person or family.

The tests cost several thousand dollars, but is usually covered by insurance.

For more information, call Texas Oncology at 358-8654.


Texas Oncology-Amarillo Cancer Center
Texas Oncology Services