The trauma of losing a beloved mother, sister, or other close relative to breast cancer is exacerbated by the fear that you, too, may develop cancer. Dr. Debra Epstein in Maple Shade and Turnersville, South Jersey can help you find the answers you need with breast cancer gene testing using the BRCA gene test. If you believe you’re at risk for inherited breast cancer and you live in Maple Shade, Turnersville, or surrounding areas, contact Dr. Epstein for a BRCA gene test. Call her supportive staff or use the online booking form to schedule an appointment.
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 12% of women develop breast cancer during their lifetime. However, if you inherit a BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene mutation, your risk of developing breast cancer by age 80 increases to 72% and 69%, respectively.
Breast cancer gene testing lets you know if you’ve inherited the BCRA1 or BCRA2 mutations. If you test positive for the mutations, Dr. Epstein can help you make decisions about reducing your risk of developing breast cancer, such as more frequent mammograms, prophylactic mastectomy, and other surgery.
The BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes produce tumor-suppressor proteins that help repair damaged DNA in your cells. When you have the BCRA1 or BCRA2 mutations, your cells can’t repair themselves and are more susceptible to becoming cancer cells.
You can inherit the mutations from either your father or your mother. Each child born to a parent with the mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting it.
Dr. Epstein is a firm believer in preventive medicine, which includes early detection. However, only a few women benefit from breast cancer gene testing. You should only be tested if you have or had:
If your results are positive, Dr. Epstein meets with you to discuss your options. You may choose to undergo more frequent screenings for breast cancer with both mammograms and MRIs. You may also want to consider prophylactic surgery.
Even when your BCRA1 and BCRA2 gene mutation test comes back negative, your risk for cancer may still be elevated. Dr. Epstein will meet with you after your test results are available to determine your overall risk. Additionally, approximately 12% of women without the risk factors still develop breast cancer. Dr. Epstein recommends regular mammograms to catch any cancerous changes early.
When you’re ready for breast cancer gene testing, contact Dr. Epstein by calling her nearest office or booking an appointment online.