Genetic Testing to Learn about Your Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Questions for the doctor

Genetic counseling and testing can help you understand your risk of some kinds of cancer. Genetic tests can show whether you were born with mutations (changes) in certain genes that increase your risk of cancer.

If you were born with certain mutations in the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene, you are at higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. You may also be at higher risk of developing other types of cancers.

Talk with your doctor about genetic testing to learn about your risk of breast and ovarian cancers if you have:

You may also want to ask about genetic testing if you've already had breast or ovarian cancer.

If genetic tests show that you're at higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer – or of getting cancer a second time – you and your doctor can discuss options for managing your risk.

Genetic counseling can help you understand the testing process and your results. The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover genetic counseling and testing for women at higher risk. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get genetic counseling and testing at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider.

What do I ask the doctor?

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time. Print these questions and take them with you when you visit the doctor. You may also want to ask a family member or close friend to go with you to take notes.

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