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Genetic testing... would you?

My mom is an ovarian cancer survivor, and she had a gene profile done and she tested positive for the BRCA-1 gene which increases the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. She is an only daughter as am I. I struggle with the decision now of whether I should get tested (and whether my insurance will cover it). We had our son (miracle baby) even though I only have one ovary - had one removed non cancerous. I'm unsure if I want to know if I have the gene, because that leads to a whole other bunch of questions/options - do I have a complete hysterectomy/mastectomy as a preventative measure, etc? I'm almost 40, and I know I have high risks even without the gene. What would you all do in my shoes??

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Asked by amw529 at 4:55 PM on Aug. 20, 2010 in Health

Level 13 (1,190 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • my opinion on this one is:
    since there's not much in the way of preventative for breast or ovarian cancer, why worry yourself by knowing you have the genetic marker for it. Just get the normal regular checks for that stuff.

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 4:57 PM on Aug. 20, 2010

  • I am a stage III colon cancer survivor. For the sake of my kids, I had the testing done. I do not carry the gene that predisoses colon cancer. That being said, my kids have been told they do not have to worry about predisposition. However, if I had turned up positive, they all said they would have been tested to know if they needed to be extra aware of symptoms in the future. And, so that insurance would cover early testing. Most insurance companies won't cover early testing unless you have conclusive testing to show probabilities.

    Answer by specialwingz at 5:00 PM on Aug. 20, 2010

  • I think that knowing would drive some people crazy, it is really how you think you would be able to handle it. I think that for me, I probably would opt not to do it. There is not much preventive care for those types of cancer, however I would eat a lot of fruit and veggies to help boost my immune system, get lots of exercise and drink a lot of water. Basically strive to live a healthy life, and continue doing your regular check ups. I would not want to live with knowing if I had this particular marker. Best of luck to you on your decision.


    Answer by sheloveearth at 5:05 PM on Aug. 20, 2010

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