BRCA Genetic Testing in Santa Monica, CA
There are now thousands of genetic tests currently in use and more being developed every day. With the ability to assess one's risk of inheriting, developing or passing on genetic disorders, genetic testing has produced a vast array of healthcare options. With a simple blood test—or sometimes even just saliva—changes or mutations in chromosomes, genes, or proteins can be detected.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two human genes that play an important role in producing proteins designed to suppress tumors, repair DNA damage and maintain stability in the genetic structure of cells. If either of these genes is altered or undergoes a mutation, the cells are more likely to experience genetic changes that significantly increase the likelihood of specific cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers.
BRCA genetic testing can help identify BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, which can give the knowledge of your ovarian and breast cancer risk, leading to preventative strategies and early treatment of future cancer.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Santa Monica that can determine if you are a good candidate for BRCA genetic testing, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Cancer Development & the BRCA Genes
Emerging research is uncovering an increasing number of conditions believed to be linked to BRCA mutations. It is presently known that BRCA genetic testing can reveal mutations that impact the development of the following cancers:
BRCA testing is most known for its ability to assess breast cancer risk in women. While only 12 percent of women generally develop breast cancer, women who are BRCA positive face a staggering 45-65 percent chance of developing breast cancer. And, while only 1.3 percent of women develop ovarian cancer, a defective BRCA gene increases the chances to 11-39 percent.
Men, too, are affected by BRCA gene mutations; men with BRCA2 mutations are at increased risk of breast and prostate cancers. Both men and women who test BRCA positive may also be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer. When the mutations are inherited from both parents, there may also be an increased likelihood of childhood leukemia.
Who is a Good Candidate for BRCA Genetic Testing?
BRCA genetic testing is an invaluable predictive medical tool. It is recommended for certain high-risk populations which are at an increased risk of having a BRCA mutation. You may be a candidate for BRCA genetic testing if you identify with any of the following circumstances:
- Individuals with a family history of cancers like breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer, especially if more than one cancer has occurred in the same individual, if breast cancer has occurred before age 50, or in families with a history of male breast cancer
- Cancer survivors
- Individuals at high-risk of developing certain cancers due to other high-risk factors like ethnic background, family history of BRCA mutations, PALB2 mutations, and mutations in genes associated with inherited disorders like Fanconi anemia, Cowden syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Internationally, individuals of the following ethnic and geographic populations have a higher prevalence of BRCA mutations:
- Ashkenazi Jewish
In racial and ethnic groups such as Hispanics, African Americans, non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans, there is limited data to indicate prevalence based on race alone.
What to Expect from BRCA Testing
The decision to undergo voluntary genetic testing is a complex one. Your individual and family medical history plays a key role in helping to determine whether genetic testing is advisable and which types of genetic testing are appropriate. There are deep social, psychological and emotional implications that come with the knowledge ascertained in tests like these. Genetic counseling is an essential part of the testing protocol. Decisions on issues like increased screenings, chemopreventative medication, preventive surgeries, or testing additional family members, for example, come into play.
The BRCA test itself is a simple serum blood test—and in some cases a saliva test. It is an outpatient procedure normally performed in a lab or in the office of your healthcare provider. It usually takes no more than a month to get the test results back from the lab which analyzes your blood.
If you have cancer or are at high-risk for developing certain cancers because of family history or other risk factors, BRCA genetic testing is an important test you should learn more about. Request more information about BRCA testing today. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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