To Test or Not to Test- The Benefits of Genetic Testing

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Shari Pack
Joined: 10/16/2012

One of the best ways to beat cancer is by cancer prevention and early detection. We learn more each day about cancer fighting/preventing foods and supplements, and this information is invaluable.  Being proactive about our health is key in fighting any disease.

Over the past several years, genetic testing has become a popular method to determine whether or not someone has an increased risk of certain cancers. I chose to undergo genetic testing and it literally saved my life.  I was tested and informed that I was positive for the BRCA 1 gene. After considering my options, I finally (and I mean finally-it took a few years) decided to undergo an elective surgery to remove the parts that were of concern. Not everyone agreed with my decision to take evasive action because there is a lack of understanding genetic testing and in removing "healthy parts" of the body.  It was during this elective surgery that my cancer was discovered and in one of the two places where I was told that I was going to get cancer.

Genetic testing isn't for everyone and this option should be discussed at length with your doctor. I can only provide my experience with this option. If the decision is to get the testing, you should prepare yourself or your loved one for the possibility of hearing some unpleasant news.

The good news is that we have the ability to take preventative measures by doing regular cancer screenings and exploring all options based upon our family history. Being proactive worked out well for me!

Only a small percent is usually positive with the BRCA gene! I am 33 & was dx @ 32 with left Breast Cancer -Triple Positive:( My BRCA 1 &2 Negative! Awareness of Self Breast Exams are Very Important for young People as they don't like to do Mammos under 40:(