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How is genetic testing done?

The test involves giving a small sample of blood that is tested in a lab for the BRCA mutations. Results are generally available in about three to four weeks. You should receive them from your doctor and/or genetic counselor through either a scheduled telephone or in-person appointment, so that all the ramifications of the results for your personal situation can be discussed.
The results are most meaningful if a BRCA mutation has already been confirmed in a relative who had cancer. If at all possible, a sample of his or her blood or tissue should be tested first.
Reviewed by Jill Stopfer, MS

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