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Cancer gene tests for children?

By September 22, 2008 - 9:09am
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According to an Associated Press article, more women are going for breast cancer gene testing in record numbers, forcing more parents to face a tough question: Should we test the kids?

The article says that "medical experts advise against such testing before age 25, saying that little can be done to prevent or screen for breast or ovarian cancer until then, so the knowledge would only cause needless worry."

But, new studies and The Associated Press interviews "show that many people who have BRCA gene mutations — and even more of their offspring — disagree."

What do you think? Should children be tested for cancer?

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HERWriter Guide

I will get tested for the BRCA gene at the end of the year and I am second guessing my decision to do this already!

However, I won't get my kids tested. I don't see any practical reason and I don't want any kind of self-fulfilling prophecy type feelings on their part or feelings of hopelessness.

As much as I want my children to be aware of their family history and it's potential for them, this is not the way to do it. They may not have the emotional maturity to deal with bad news and being a teenager is hard enough, without this to deal with too.

And if there is nothing they can do about it until they are adults, then they can make that decision for themselves then, and I'll support them all the way.

Childhood, and all it's carefree innocence, is fleeting. Why change it now, with information that will remain useless until they are adults?

September 22, 2008 - 11:22am
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