Avera Medical Minute: Genetic Screening for High Risk Breast Cancer
Genetic Testing has gained a lot of attention recently from breast cancer patients. That's because recently oncologists and survivors are more vocal about early detection and prevention.
We're taking a look at this type of testing in this edition of Avera Medical Minute.
Its Kelli Timmers's job to study the human body. But she didn't predict that shortly after turning 31 the body she'd be studying would be her own. She just had a hysterectomy.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer she found out she has a gene known as BRCA1. Highly lethal ovarian cancer strikes about 50 percent of those who have it. If she hadn't taken the test she wouldn't have known her risk.
Now when they're old enough Kelli's kids can have a simple blood test to determine whether they carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations. Those that carry it can reduce their risk of cancer by taking certain cancer-prevention drugs or having a Mastectomy and Hysterectomy like Kelli.
Researchers say only 30-thousand of the more than 250-thousand American women estimated to carry a mutation or a related gene have been tested.