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What happens during genetic testing for breast cancer?

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You'll first need to get a family pedigree, a chart that shows any history of cancer in your family and the genetic makeup of your ancestors. You’ll get a blood test to check if you have a breast cancer gene. The vast majority of breast cancer cases aren’t linked to breast cancer gene. And scientists haven’t identified all the breast cancer-causing genes, so the blood test can check for only known genes.

If you’ve been diagnosis with cancer and have a family history of the disease and the blood tests finds you have an altered BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, your family is said to have a "known mutation." If there is a link between breast cancer development and the breast cancer gene, then all your willing family members will be asked to give a blood sample. For many people, knowing their test results is important because this information may help to guide future health care decisions for themselves and their families.

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

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