Dr. Harness shares when girls should be tested for breast cancer when they have a family history.
Dr. Harness, M.D.:
First of all, young women in their teen years need to be working with genetic counselors when it comes to any recommendations for gene testing, for a BRCA-1 or 2 or some of the other really unusual genes. So the correct answer is they need to be working with a certified genetic counselor who can help guide them.
In general, we do not do testing on teenagers, and in general, that testing waits until someone is in their 20s. Are there circumstances where you might do it earlier? Sure, but my advice on this one would be that they are in the hands of competent, certified genetic counselors who can give good advice.
About Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Dr. Jay Harness, M.D., is the Director at St. Joseph Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center. Practicing medicine for 35 years, Dr. Harness specializes in general surgery and medical oncology. Graduating medical school from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he conducting his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in breast and endocrine surgery, Dr. Harness is the immediate past-President of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and is President-elect of Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness can assist patients in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.