A Look at Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-29 06:28:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Early detection could save your life when it comes to fighting breast cancer.

That includes mammograms and self-exams.

Another tool you might consider is genetic testing.

Genetic counselors say only about 7 to 10 percent of breast cancers overall are due to a genetic mutation, and most cancers happen by chance.

There are few factors you can look for in your family history, like breast cancers before the age of 50 and having multiple diagnoses of breast cancer in the family.

Certified genetic counselor Katie Farmer with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, says a sit down, thorough conversation about family history helps determine what type of testing is appropriate.

"It's never easy to learn you have a hereditary cancer syndrome," said Katie Farmer, MS, CGC. "It's a serious diagnosis you have to change your healthcare from there on out, but you have to be proactive and if they know they are at a more increased risk for cancers we can recommend that they start screening at an earlier age and have more screening each year."

You can get more information on the Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center, by clicking here.