The Truth About BRCA Testing and Genetic Risk

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Huma Q. Rana, MD

Huma Q. Rana, MD

Cancer genetics has come a long way in the last two decades, leading to increased prevention and improved treatment options. Today, research is shining the light on why certain people have an increased risk for cancer.

“It took us 20 years to get where we are today with the knowledge of BRCA1/2, but we are starting to find changes in other genes that are explaining a history of cancer in families,” says Huma Q. Rana, MD, clinical director for Dana-Farber’s Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention. “These new genes we’re identifying are likely to make a difference in prevention and treatment in the future.”

Rana recently discussed the truth around BRCA testing and genetic risk in a live video webchat hosted by the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. The chat, which featured questions submitted by patients and live viewers, covered topics on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk, genetic testing costs and procedures, as well as new findings around gene mutations that may increase cancer risk.

View the video of the July 16 webchat below. For more information on cancer genetics, visit the website for Dana-Farber’s Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention.

3 Comments:

  1. Any advances to help cure breast cancer, are good advances.

  2. Thank you for this video. It answered many of the questions I had regarding brca testing and breast ca risk. Having watched this, I will be seeking genetic councelling and testing. I am 41, my mother and two aunts and cousin (all on same side of family) have had breast cancer. My grandfather died from prostate cancer and I believe all of his siblings also died with some form of cancer, other than one who died at an early age serving overseas. It was interesting to hear in the video that prostate cancer may be linked to the same gene mutation which would make sense given my family history. I have two children and would be relieved to know if I was not a carrier of the Brca gene mutation, which would give them a 50 percent chance of having it as well. I believe in preventative medicine and I think that having the genetic testing done will have a huge impact on future decisions regarding my health and managing breast cancer risk. Information that I can pass to my children will be equally as beneficial to them. I happy to have stumbled on this video over my morning coffee. Many thanks.

    • Dear Tracey —
      Thank you so much for visiting our blog and for sharing your kind words. It is wonderful to hear that this video has helped you. Wishing you and your family all the best.

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