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BRCA Gene Mutation Testing

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Also known as: BRCA; Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes 1 and 2
Formal name: Breast Cancer Gene 1; Breast Cancer Gene 2

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To assess the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer associated with hereditary mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

When to Get Tested?

When your personal or family history suggests the presence of a harmful BRCA mutation, such as you or someone in your family has had breast cancer before the age of 50 or ovarian cancer at any age, is a male with breast cancer, or when a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been identified in a family member

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or an oral rinse that collects cells from your mouth

Test Preparation Needed?

None, but genetic counseling is strongly recommended to confirm that you meet the testing criteria. If the sample is a saliva-based specimen, it is recommended that you not eat, drink, or chew gum for at least an hour prior to your testing appointment. Furthermore, kissing should also be avoided immediately prior to testing.