The FDA has approved a direct-to-consumer DNA self-test for breast cancer mutations. Is this test worthwhile, and is it right for you? A breast specialist weighs in.
Men can carry BRCA1/2 mutations too, and they increase a man’s risk for developing prostate cancer, melanoma, pancreatic and testicular cancer — as well as breast cancer (though very rare in men).
It also impacts their daughters’ genetic outlook because fathers pass down the BRCA genetic mutation in the same way as mothers do.
The five symptoms of cervical and ovarian cancer can mimic signs of benign conditions. But, they shouldn’t be ignored. Know when to consult your doctor.
It’s important to know the characteristics of reliable medical screening tests. Use this list of criteria to be sure the tests are appropriate — and likely to do more good than harm.
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A diagnosis of cancer in a woman’s reproductive organs can lead to fears about losing her femininity and her ability to bear children. But according to gynecologic oncologist Robert DeBernardo, MD, gynecological cancers aren’t common, and most can be easily treated. “Gynecological cancers are rare in the grand scheme when compared to lung or colon … Read More
For a woman, the decision to have your ovaries and fallopian tubes removed does not come easily. But if you face an alarmingly high genetic risk of ovarian cancer, preventive surgery may be the right choice. Angelina Jolie’s surgery in March shined a national spotlight on this issue. She previously brought attention to preventive mastectomy … Read More
Who should be tested — and when? These are the big questions people ask when it comes to genetic screening, especially for commonly known mutations. It’s safe to say more people know about BRCA1 and BRCA2 than the average mutations. High-profile cases such as Angelina Jolie’s have brought attention to them. The actress recently announced … Read More
Periods are a part of life for women, but many women would like to be able to control when they happen. Others may have a history of difficult periods and just want to do without the stress. Taking birth control pills continuously represents a common and safe method for managing menstrual disturbances and other associated … Read More
It can be hard to know what questions to ask when your doctor says you have cancer. Since oncologists often present “just the facts,” without necessarily opening up the floor for questions, it’s good to be proactive. After a cancer diagnosis, here are seven questions I suggest patients ask: 1. Where do you recommend getting … Read More
Chemotherapy for young women with breast cancer has a serious permanent side effect: infertility due to irreversible damage to the ovaries. But a new study shows that a hormone-blocking drug taken during chemotherapy can help young female breast cancer patients avoid ovary damage and go on to have children later. Researchers presented results of the … Read More