Breast & Ovarian Cancer (BRCA 1 & 2) Gene Test, Hormone Replacement Therapy
Breast & Ovarian Cancer (BRCA 1 & 2) Gene Test
While the specific cause of breast cancer is often unknown, a certain number of women may be genetically predisposed to developing this disease. Women with the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation carry an inherited risk of developing breast cancer. These gene mutations likely occur in women with:
- A family history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Early diagnosis of breast cancer (before age 45)
- Another family member with BRCA gene mutation
Women who carry the BRCA gene may have up to an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Hereditary factors usually account for only 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancer cases, but it is still important for women to undergo testing if they are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer.
The BRCA genetic test
The BRCA genetic test involves a simple blood test that is performed in the doctor's office through a vein in the arm. The drawn blood is sent to a lab for DNA analysis. It may take three to four weeks for results to be available. Patients with positive results will work with their doctor to develop an appropriate prevention plan. It is important for women who receive negative test results to realize that they still face the same risk for developing breast cancer as anyone else in the general population and should be screened on a regular basis.
Genetic counseling can be beneficial both before and after testing for a BRCA gene. Your level of risk for the gene may be assessed by reviewing your personal and family medical history. Counseling can also help you determine how to handle the results of your test.
With an increased risk of developing breast cancer in both breasts, women with the BRCA gene mutation often seek preventive care to reduce their chances of developing cancer. There are several surgical and nonsurgical treatment options available to protect even those women at the highest risk from developing cancer and maintain breast and overall health. We provide specialized care for these patients in the form of preventive and reconstructive options.
Breast Cancer Awareness Event
* We would be happy to discuss with you any questions or concerns you might have! Please call us at (516) 439-5300 for a consultation, or to setup an appointment!
Hormone Replacement Therapy
As you age, your body slowly ceases to produce estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that thicken the uterus to prepare it for the implantation of a fertilized egg. These hormones also protect the body from developing uterine cancer and osteoporosis. The decrease of these hormone levels is also responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause.
As these hormones are valuable to women's health, many women choose to replace them synthetically through a pill, patch or cream to retain the benefits produced through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Estrogen, by itself, helps relieve menopause symptoms and prevent osteoporosis. When combined with progesterone, the therapy allows for the uterine lining shedding each month without the regular bleeding. While there are risks associated with HRT, it is important to take the lowest dosage possible re-evaluating your therapy annually. Your doctor can help you decide which type of HRT, if any, is right for you.