Well, it has been a year and the annual Pap smear was my new thing for this week. While this is never an experience I would like to share, I certainly had an awakening moment. I have a history of breast cancer in my family that places me in a high risk probability of causation. My physician asked me if I would be interested in genetic testing for the breast cancer gene.
When I got home from the doctor’s office, I did some research on the genetic testing and it appears that there is a high risk of hereditary breast cancer if you have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. The test is just a simple blood test that is sent to a laboratory to test if there are mutations to the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 genes.
Seems appealing, right? There are two problems that I am having with the idea of genetic testing. First of all, the insurance companies would love to obtain this information in order to release their liability for future services. Second, I am not sure I want to be informed of my possibilities. It is purely out of fear.
The National Cancer Institute does provide some great information on the pros and cons of genetic testing as well as options for positive testing. The website can be found here http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA
The biggest downfall to this testing is that the cost of the test is approximately $500 and the insurance companies rarely cover the cost. I know of one person that had this procedure done but rarely speaks of it, she is a quiet person. Does anyone have any advice? Do you have a story that relates to any genetic testing?
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