5 facts about genetics testing for breast cancer

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Channel 9 reporter Angela Jacobs takes a deeper look at the exploding field of genetics and how its working to unravel the mysteries within our own DNA to try to stop breast cancer in its tracks.

She breaks down five genetic breast cancer facts below:

READ: Fact checking 9 myths about breast cancer

1. Myth Buster: if you test negative for a genetic mutation it doesn’t mean you won’t be at risk for cancer.

2. The best person to do genetic testing in a family is the person who’s been affected by cancer.

READ: Where free or reduced cost mammograms are available in Central Florida

3.  It’s critical that you know the red flags in your family history by digging into past generations when people were less likely to share cancer diagnoses. Use the holiday season to do that.

4. If you tested negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2 before 2012 you need to get tested again because the science now can find mutations it could not before then.

READ: Doctor, breast cancer survivor offers free online program focused on healing through lifestyle changes

5. Always ask a board-certified genetic counselor to explain genetic test results. They know the science behind the tests and can most accurately interpret them. They will also have you tested for the greatest number of genes available and appropriate for your family and personal history. At-home test kits only test a few genes and can lead to misinterpretation and misinformation regarding cancer risk.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.