Health

How To Improve Your Health with A Genetic Testing Kit

At Home Genetic Testing is the ultimate in personalized testing to improve your health, determine your ancestry and unique genetic makeup.

Genetic Testing is the ultimate in personalized testing to determine your ancestry, unique genetic makeup and predisposition to developing cancers and heart conditions.

IMPROVE HEALTH WITH GENETIC TESTING

Knowing about any increased risk of cancer by using genetic testing is an incredible thing to have access to! It let’s you work with your healthcare provider to create a super-personalized monitoring and treatment plan designed to prevent or detect cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage.

Part of my treatment plan for my recently diagnosed invasive lobular cancer was to set up a genetic test. Since I already had breast cancer, my doctor wasn’t necessarily interested in my chances of getting breast cancer, but the chance of it recurring. While there’s no real answer to whether cancer will recur, it’s chance of recurrence does have a link to my genes.

I chose to have a lumpectomy performed on both breasts rather than a bi-lateral mastectomy based partially on my test results showing no mutations of my BRCA 1 and BRCA2 genes, or any others that were looked at. It’s too early to know if I made the right choice because sadly until you have surgery and start monitoring your progress, you won’t know. (My genetic testing was paid for by insurance and tested over 30 genes with direct links to breast cancer).

What are BRCA Gene Mutations?

All women have BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but not all women have mutations in those genes. About 1 in every 500 women in the United States has a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. If either your mother or father has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, you have a 50% chance of having the same gene mutation.

Why Does A BRCA Gene Mutation Matter?

According to the CDC, having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation puts you at an increased risk for getting breast or ovarian cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes to your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, you may have a higher breast cancer risk. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk

  • About 50% of women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation will develop breast cancer by the time they’re 70, compared to only 7% in the general United States population.
  • About 30% of women in the U.S. with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation will get ovarian cancer by the time they’re 70, compared to fewer than 1% of women in the general population.

Honestly, getting the call with my negative results from the genetics counselor was a tremendous relief. Not just for me but for my sisters and nieces. We have little knowledge about our extended family, so this one small piece of information was great news. Frankly, when you have cancer any good news is savored!

Whether you know your family history or not, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about screening and other ways you can lower your risk.

RELATED: Breast Cancer Signs Everyone Should Know

At-Home Genetic and Ancestry Tests

If you want to know more about your own genetics and ancestry, there are easy tests on the market that can help.

Color Genetic Test* – Helps guide choices for your health and prevention. You’ll get information on cancer, heart and medications.  In addition to health risks, you’ll explore your genetic ancestry and other fun genetic insights about yourself.

23andMe* – Get genetic insights into your ancestry, traits and health that can help make it easier for you to take action on your health.

Here’s how it works – Order your test kit for Color Genetic Test or 23and Me. Then simply spit some saliva into the provided tube, send it back and sit back and wait for the results. No blood, no swabs…it’s easy.

I recommend visiting the company’s website to understand exactly what results you can expect. (results will take 3 – 6 weeks).

*These tests are not a substitute for tests your doctor may order for any diagnosis or treatment. If you have a family history of cancer or other disorder, tell your healthcare provider so you can decide together on the best course of action.

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