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How do I interpret the genetic test results for breast cancer?

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A negative genetic test means that a breast cancer gene mutation was not identified. If genetic testing has previously identified a mutation in your family, then a negative test means you do not carry the specific mutation that was identified in your family. Therefore, your risk of developing cancer is the same as someone in the general population who has a family history of breast cancer. If a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has not been previously found in your family, a negative result should be interpreted cautiously. In such cases, there is still a chance that you may be at increased risk for breast cancer due to potential mutations in genes other than those that currently can be tested for.

A positive test result means that a mutation known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer was identified. Knowing your cancer risk may help guide important health care decisions for you and your family.

From: Breast Cancer and Genetic Testing WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 22, 2017

SOURCE: National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 22, 2017

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Should I be tested for genetic mutations of breast cancer?

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