Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling and Testing
If you're at high risk for breast cancer, you may benefit from genetic counseling and testing. Our board-certified genetic counselors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center follow the gold-standard guidelines set by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
With breast cancer, the most common genetic test is for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Although other genes may play a role in developing breast cancer, having genetic counseling first can help you determine the best testing option.
You may have increased risk for breast cancer if you have:
- A first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) or multiple second- or third-degree relatives (grandparent, aunt or cousin) under the age of 60 who were diagnosed with breast cancer
- Multiple relatives on the same side of your family (maternal or paternal) who developed breast cancer before age 50
- Relatives with both breast and ovarian cancer
Your genetic counseling visit
You can bring immediate family members with you to ask questions and take notes. During your complimentary counseling session, your counselor will:
- Review up to 3 generations of your family history
- Discuss your and your children’s risk factors for cancer
- Explain your rights under laws such as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
- Discuss the pros and cons of genetic testing
- Help you navigate through insurance
What to expect during genetic testing
Testing begins at our office, where we take a small sample of your blood and send it to the lab. We'll receive the results in about 4 weeks.
It’s best to test the specific genes relevant to breast cancer. Testing for a wider variety of genes makes it more likely to find additional genetic changes. While these changes may not mean you will develop breast cancer or any other type of cancer, the results may affect your or your children’s options for future care. You and your genetic counselor will discuss which genes to test.
Genetic testing results
As part of our National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center level of care, we meet with you in person to interpret your results, explain any changes we find in your genetic test and show you where the gene is located. You’ll learn what it means for you and your family members and who else in your family should be tested.
Reviewing results usually takes about 30 minutes. You’ll also receive a copy of the results to take home.
Your best option for beating cancer
The Women’s Cancer Center at The University of Kansas Cancer Center focuses on breast and gynecologic cancers, providing specialized care to women.
Request your appointment today.
To make an appointment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, call 913-588-1227.