Should You Get Genetic Testing?

Dr. Stephanie Blank Discusses If You Are an Ideal Candidate for Genetic Testing

genetic testingGenetic testing is the process of using medical tests to look for mutations and changes in a person’s genes. Hundreds of different genetic tests are used today.

Genetic Testing has the capability to determine your cancer risk. They are most commonly done as predictive genetic tests. They may be used to see if a person has a certain gene mutation that could possibly increase the risk for breast cancer or to confirm a suspected gene mutation in a person or family.

A recent study suggested that everyone over the age of 30 take the genetic test and get genetic counseling, but NYU Women’s Cancer Program Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Stephanie Blank talks about the ideal candidates for genetic testing in the video below.


Stephanie Blank: That’s a very interesting question. Actually this week a paper came out that suggested that everybody over the age of 30 should should consider having genetic counseling and testing potentially. But
right now, previously the criteria for having genetic testing involved looking at your own history or your family history and for a patient herself the things that would be important would be having had breast cancer a young age about 50 having what’s called triple negative breast cancer and that’s breast cancer that has no hormone receptors on it and is negative for a marker called HER2-neu. Basically what are you looking at your history these are things that would make you want to get tested if you’ve had breast cancer under the age of 50 if you had more than one breast cancer by bilateral breast cancer one on each side if you’ve had triple negative breast cancer and that is breast cancer that has no hormone receptors and is negative for marker called Her2-neu. If you yourself about ovarian cancer and when we say ovarian cancer we also mean tubal cancer or primary peritoneal cancer, if you are a man and you had breast cancer, you should absolutely be genetically tested these are things that you would look at your family history to determine if you should be tested it there’s an individual and you’re in your family that has had 2 breast cancers if there’s any again triple-negative breast cancer in the family if there’s pancreatic cancer as well as another cancer if there are three or more people with breast cancer on a single side of the family and if there’s a previously identified BRCA one or two mutation in the family those are all reasons to get genetic testing now some people will not fall into these categories but will still have a very suspicious pedigree or family tree and those people can be tested as well but the things that I listed our or our general things that are used by some guidelines for testing.