A Guide to Genetic Testing

The thought of understanding your breast and ovarian cancer risk can be both comforting and frightening, but when it comes to your health, it’s best to be in the know. Here’s a look at genetic testing, including questions to help you decide whether you should consider getting it done.

Things to remember:

  • Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancers generally looks at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
  • A mutation in these genes can increase your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Tests involve giving a blood or saliva sample and it can take a few weeks to yield results.
  • A genetic test is currently the most effective way to determine risk of hereditary cancer.

Should you get tested?

Consult your doctor to determine whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing is right for you. There are many factors a person should consider when making this decision—these are just a few questions related to genetic testing and risk factors. For a more comprehensive list of questions, visit a site like mayoclinic.org and consult your doctor.

  • Do you have a personal history of breast cancer diagnosed before age 50?
  • Do you have a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer?
  • Has a relative tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes?

Go Pink with This Care Package

It’s not always easy knowing what to say or do for a person going through breast cancer. A care package can be the perfect way to show someone you’re there for them. These are some necessities to include in a care package that is sure to make a patient’s day.

A pack of batteries:
To keep you going and going.

Rubber bands:
To stretch you beyond what you thought you were capable of.

Confetti:
When you just feel like throwing something.

Playing cards:
To remind you to keep having fun during hard times.

Snickers:
For when you need a laugh.

Toothpicks:
For when you need a pick-me-up.

Clothespin:
To help you hang in there.

Starburst:
To give you a burst of energy during the day.

Hershey’s Kiss:
To remind you that someone cares.

Paper clips:
To help you hold it all together.

Mints:
To remind yourself you will be back to mint condition in no time.

Cotton Ball:
A cushion during rough times.

Penny:
So you always have good luck.

Sponge:
To soak up all the worries that come your way.

ChapStick:
To remind you to stick with it.