The fear of getting the BRCA gene test is common for many people and The Doctors discuss who could benefit most from this potentially life-saving test.
Surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk joins ER physician Travis Stork to discuss whether or not the BRCA gene test – a blood or saliva test that identities mutations that can lead to breast and ovarian cancer – is something you should consider.
Dr. Funk explains that if you have either one of the gene mutations, BRCA1 and BRCA2, you potentially have up to an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer and a 45 percent chance of ovarian cancer. She stresses that the test will provide patients with the power of knowledge about which medical treatment course might be necessary, whether that be intense screenings, medications or even preemptive removal surgery.
She breaks down who she recommends get the BRCA test:
- If you have 2 relatives with breast cancer under age 50
- If you have relatives with ovarian cancer at any age
Dr. Funk also uses the “multiple, young and rare” approach to deciding if you need the test:
- Multiple: If there are more than three cancers on one side of the family that includes breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, pancreas, melanoma and stomach
- Young: if there are any cancers in someone under 50 years old in your family tree
- Rare: if you have any family members with a cancer
Please consult with your physician or medical care provider to see if the BRCA gene test is right for you.