If you’re concerned about a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you can look into genetic testing. It’s believed 5% of cancers are because of genetic mutations. Once you’ve investigated your family health history, your next step is to talk to your doctor about whether you should see a genetic counsellor and potentially get some genetic testing. Here is our short guide for some of the questions you may want to ask. It can also be helpful to record the answers so you can listen to them again at a later date.
- What are the benefits and risks of genetic testing?
- Is genetic testing an option for me? What does the test involve?
- How long does it take to get the test results?
- How much does genetic testing cost? Does my insurance cover it?
- What are the confidentiality issues for the results?
- What are the issues our family needs to think about when considering genetic testing?
- What will it mean for other family members?
- What are my options, if I am at a higher risk for breast/ovarian cancer or if I am found to have a mutation in a breast cancer gene?
- Are my family members (i.e., daughter, sister, mother and male relatives) at a higher risk for breast and other cancers? What precautions do you recommend?
- What does it mean if I am told that my test was non-informative? What are my options if this occurs?
To understand more about genetic testing and how the results may affect your cancer risk, read more here.