This process typically involves working through the following series of steps with a genetic counselor:
- Education about breast and ovarian cancer and the factors that increase and decrease risk
- Analysis of your family tree, showing the pattern of cancer in your family—who was affected and their ages at diagnosis
- Education and counseling about genetic testing options (a blood test for inherited mutations in the genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2)
- Genetic testing, if appropriate
- Discussion of the test results
- Further counseling about special screening and risk-reduction options, if you are found to be high risk.
Reviewed by Jill Stopfer, MS