Paternity For Life

BRCA Gene Testing

Germline mutations are mutations that occur in every cell in your body and have the possibility to be passed down to your children. Germline variants in BRCA1 or BRCA2 are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. The offspring of an individual identified as having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline pathogenic variant have a 50% chance of inheriting the variant from that parent.

What is BRCA1 & BRCA2 Gene Testing?

  • Around 5 – 10 % of breast cancers result from a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. BRCA mutations increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and patients with BRCA mutations tend to develop breast cancers at a younger age.
  • Mutations in the BRCA genes can be sporadic, but they are often germline, meaning they are in all cells in your body and may be passed down to your children. Testing can be performed on a buccal swab sample which may indicate if there is a germline mutation in the BRCA gene. If the mutation is germline, family members can be tested to see if they have inherited the mutation, allowing earlier detection and prevention.

Why is it important to have genomic testing if I have a family history of cancer?

Testing for Inherited cancer syndromes informs clinical decision making and may assist in the prevention of adverse health outcomes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are part of complexes involved in DNA repair using homologous recombination.

Women with an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer by age 90 and up to 55% risk of developing ovarian cancer. In addition to breast cancer, mutations in the BRCA1/2 gene also increase the risk of ovarian, Fallopian tube, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer and prostate cancers.

If there is a family history of breast cancer, other members of your family can undergo genomics testing to see if they are a carrier of germline BRCA mutations. If they are identified as a carrier of the mutations, this can enable them to:

  • Start cancer screening tests earlier
  • Get screened for that type of cancer more often
  • Get screening tests that are used only for people known to be at increased cancer risk
  • Watch yourself closely for signs or symptoms of that kind of cancer
  • Learn about options to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as drugs or surgery

How do I organise testing?

If you are ready to proceed with testing, a Testing Request Form can be downloaded from our website. We recommend you book an appointment with your doctor to discuss the testing and have your Request Form signed. Once we receive your completed testing form and payment, Paternity For Life will send a testing kit directly to your home address. All that is required for testing is a simple, painless mouth swab. Once we receive your sample we will begin testing. Results are typically available to your doctor within 14 – 21 working days.

  1. Download our request form.
  2. Book an appointment with your doctor to discuss the testing and have the request form signed.
  3. Head to our simple, easy-to-use order page to order your test.
  4. Paternity For Life will send you a testing kit for collection of your sample.
  5. Your personalised report is issued to your health care provider in 21 working days.

For more information, please contact us or see our BRCA Gene Testing Brochure.

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