What are the advantages and disadvantages of BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing?

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing?

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• Testing may clarify risk for specific cancers, allowing for reduction of those risks through early detection and prevention. • Patients with a BRCA gene mutation would benefit from prophylactic surgeries. • For families with a known mutation, a negative test result reduces the patient’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer to that of the general population. • Testing may help patients focus on the medical and lifestyle choices available to them (earlier/increased screening, chemoprevention, surgical options). • Testing may help inform other family members about their potential cancer risk. • Testing may lead to an increased sense of control and decreased stress for the patient. • For cancer patients, a positive test result may decrease feelings of self-blame. Test disadvantages: • Testing may cause a patient to experience stress. • Testing positive may result in guilt or fear over possibly passing a mutation to children. • Without appropriate counseling, individuals with a negative test

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• Testing may clarify risk for specific cancers, allowing for reduction of those risks through early detection and prevention. • Patients with a BRCA gene mutation would benefit from prophylactic surgeries. • For families with a known mutation, a negative test result reduces the patient’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer to that of the general population. • Testing may help patients focus on the medical and lifestyle choices available to them (earlier/increased screening, chemoprevention, surgical options). • Testing may help inform other family members about their potential cancer risk. • Testing may lead to an increased sense of control and decreased stress for the patient. • For cancer patients, a positive test result may decrease feelings of self-blame. Test disadvantages: • Testing may cause a patient to experience stress. • Testing positive may result in guilt or fear over possibly passing a mutation to children. • Without appropriate counseling, individuals with a negative test

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