Breast Cancer (BRCA) Gene Test
How To Prepare
Reference Genetic counseling Opens New Window is strongly recommended before and after a BRCA test to help you understand the benefits, risks, and possible outcomes of the test. A BRCA test gives you the chance to make informed medical and lifestyle decisions. Genetic counselors are trained to talk with you about the test and its results, including the medical information and your emotional concerns.
This test may cause you some worry, both before and after the test. Talk with a genetic counselor before the test to help you prepare for and cope with this worry. Think about what you may do if your test is positive. For example, would you consider any prevention measures, such as the following:
- For breast cancer: A yearly mammogram and/or an Reference MRI Opens New Window, a clinical breast exam at regular times, preventive mastectomy (removal of both breasts), having your ovaries removed, taking a medicine (tamoxifen), or having your children before age 30
- For ovarian cancer: Having your ovaries removed (oophorectomy) after you are done having children, or after age 35
You will be asked to sign a consent form before the test. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, or how it will be done. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?).
No other special preparation is needed before you have this test.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology