The recent media coverage about actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo preventive surgery to decrease her inherited breast cancer risk has raised questions for women regarding their own breast cancer risks and what they can do for prevention. For women with positive family history, Dr. Evelyn Torres and her partners discuss with them the benefits and risks of genetic testing to assess risk of breast and ovarian cancer and screening. Dr. Torres states: “It is important to understand that inherited mutations of the BRCA genes are relatively uncommon in the general population. Routine genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer is not recommended, unless a patient’s family history suggests an increased risk for BRCA mutations. For women who do have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, we will talk and provide them with further information and when appropriate, a referral to a genetic counselor for a more in-depth genetic counseling and evaluation.” A recent breast cancer article in Healthy Women provides facts and helpful information.
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