The Role of Genetics in Breast Cancer (condensed)
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The Role of Genetics in Breast Cancer (condensed)

(gentle piano music) – My name is Mary Freivogel, and I’m a cancer genetic counselor at Invision Sally Jobe. We’re learning so much about the role of genetics in cancer, and with regards to breast cancer, we know that 10% of the time, there are specific gene mutations that cause that breast
cancer to have happened, and it’s important for those individuals to understand if they carry these gene mutations because it may change the way we manage them for other cancers. Do we also have to be aware of an ovarian cancer risk in them that we may want to address? Additionally, it can direct treatment, so, there sometimes are different types of chemotherapies that are available to patients who test positive. It may be a different surgery that you choose based on the gene mutation that you have or the
lack of a gene mutation. So, with regards to cancer in the family, it’s very important for people to be aware of who in the family’s had cancer, about how old they were
when they were diagnosed, and it’s important to ask those questions about different relatives on mom’s and dad’s side of the family, so, even aunts, uncles,
cousins, grandparents, all of those are important, and ancestry is important, as well. If you have Jewish ancestry, that’s something to be aware of, because the BRCA1 and 2 mutations are actually more common
in that population. Genetic counselors are the people who can really bring this
all together for patients, so, genetic counselors aren’t there to tell you to have genetic testing or not have genetic testing, but they’re there to help you in a shared decision-making process, to understand what your options are related to genetic testing,
related to screening, related to treatment, and of course, that’s all in partnership with physicians. So, I would really encourage everybody to reach out to a genetic counselor and talk with them about your concerns, and, you know, really, our goal here is to help patients know
what their options are, know how those options affect
them and their family members, and our hope is that eventually, this will help to
personalize cancer treatment and hopefully provide early detection if not prevention of cancer altogether.

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