Why doesn CCB test donors for the “BRCA” mutations?
Mutations in certain genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as several other genes, are known to increase the risk for specific inherited cancer syndromes. If a donor applicant’s family history suggests a high risk for an inherited cancer syndrome, he is not accepted into our donor program. We do not perform genetic testing on the applicant for that cancer syndrome because the genetic testing may not be sufficient to detect the specific mutation in that applicant’s family, if present. Furthermore, genetic testing for specific cancer syndrome can be misleading and falsely reassuring to CCB clients. Cancer is a very common group of diseases. Even if we tested an applicant for a specific cancer syndrome, it would not eliminate the risk for cancer in a donor’s offspring. This is because every individual in the general population has a risk to develop cancer due to many factors including normal aging, and sun and chemical exposures, etc.
- Does the Blood Service notify donors of test results? How long will it take to get notification of abnormal results?
- What are the psychosocial ramifications for blood donors of knowledge of a positive test result?
- Is the BRCA analysis test used only to detect gene mutation for breast and ovarian cancer?