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Genetic

Testing

Genetic breast cancer testing is used to identify specific inherited genes known to cause breast cancer in a small percentage of people.

Genetic Testing in Long Island, Queens, & Manhattan

What is hereditary cancer?

There are three known causes of cancer. Most often, cancer is “sporadic” and caused by chance alone. In other situations, cancer seems to repeat within a family, in which case the members of that family have an increased risk of developing cancer. In a small portion of these people, cancer is caused by a specific inherited gene that can be passed down through a family. While everyone has genes that help to prevent cancer from developing, some are born with a mutation, which prevents this gene from working properly. When this happens, a person’s risk of developing one or more types of cancer increases.

What is genetic testing?

Breast cancer genetic testing is a form of blood and saliva testing that checks for mutations in genes that could increase your chances of developing cancer. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer are the BRCA genes. BRCA stands for BReast CAncer susceptibility gene. In addition to the BRCA genes, there are several other genes known to increase the risk for breast cancer that can be tested for. Using genetic testing can help you and your doctor determine your risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer during your lifetime.

When is genetic testing recommended?

Genetic testing for breast cancer is recommended for those with a relatively high risk of having the mutation. You may be a good candidate for a gene test if you or a family member has experienced:

  • Cancer at a young age (45 or younger)
  • More than one type of uncommon cancer, such as ovarian cancer
  • Cancer that appears in both organs (e.g., both breasts or both kidneys)
  • A childhood cancer that also appears in a sibling

What does genetic testing involve?

Genetic testing for breast cancer is performed similarly to a regular blood test. It can evaluate your potential risk of the following cancers:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Endometrial
  • Prostate
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Gastric
  • Colorectal

Your results will be explained in detail by your doctor. The three possible results from genetic testing include:

  • Negative – The majority of BRCA tests come back as negative and this means that no clinically significant mutation was identified.
  • Positive – A positive test means you have tested positive for a genetic mutation that can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
  • VUS – A variant of uncertain significance (VUS) occurs when a change in a gene is found but it is currently unknown whether the change increases the risk of developing cancer or is benign. Until there is enough evidence to determine the significance of the change, management is based on personal and family history.

Watch: What to Expect During Your BRCA Gene Test

BRCA Gene Testing

Other Patient Resources


What are the benefits of undergoing genetic testing?

The benefits of undergoing genetic testing at one of our Neighborhood Radiology Services locations in New York include:

  • Covered by most insurance companies
  • High-quality and accurate screening
  • Provides valuable information for current and future generations
  • Analyzes a wide range of genes associated with cancer
  • Test is as short and simple as a regular blood test

If you believe you may benefit from BRCA / genetic testing, contact our board-certified radiologists at Neighborhood Radiology Services, with locations throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 800-220-2220 to learn more about our services.

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