Something that many doctors may suggest to you is genetic testing for breast cancer. This starts out with some blood tests but there are a number of other tests that may be needed. There are benefits to opting for these tests but at the same time, there are disadvantages that you need to consider.
The problem with opting for the testing is that there are emotional and mental problems when it comes to some outcomes. This is something that not all people will be able to deal with – of course, finding these results early may be the best thing and may save your life.
Should you have genetic testing for breast cancer?
This is a question that many people will ask. The problem is that there are almost 200,000 women diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer in the USA.
10 percent of those cases are hereditary types of cancers, which means that there is a mutation in the genes and other women in the family risk developing the cancer. This is something that can develop from breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
Knowing that a parent or child has an hereditary breast cancer does not mean that you are going to develop it too. But, it is worth having the testing to find out whether you are at risk. That way, you know the chances of having to have surgery or medications later in life. It also makes it easier for doctors to keep an eye on you and to help you spot the cancerous tumors before it becomes too late to help you.
The downsides of the testing
The main benefit of opting for genetic testing for breast cancer is that a woman knows whether she is at risk of developing the cancer. However, it is important to look into the downsides. While there are no medical risks or downsides to this, the results from the tests will have a huge impact on your life.
Whether you get a positive or negative result, there is an emotional aspect to the testing. Those who receive a positive test to the mutated gene will be more worried about developing the cancer, instead of just making it a normal part of the day to check for lumps and use it in a positive way. There are also reports that women who find that they do not have the mutated gene start to feel guilty, especially if another family member has tested positive.
There are a number of decisions that will need to be made, especially when a positive results comes back. There are considerations about having the surgery before the breast cancer forms. Of course, the cancer is not definitely going to appear so this may be a preventive method that is a waste of time and money and is extremely painful.
There are times that the results from the genetic testing for breast cancer are ambiguous, which mean that it was difficult to determine whether there is a mutated gene. This makes it difficult for people to make the choice to look into preemptive methods or whether to know that breast cancer is not a high risk.