If a woman has a history of breast or ovarian cancer in her family, she can be tested to determine if she is at- risk for cancer. Carla Burbidge has the story in this week's Eye on Health.
It was big news earlier this year. Actress Angelina Jolie had a preventative double mastectomy. Because of a family history of cancer, she was tested and found to have an 87-percent chance of getting breast cancer, a 50-percent chance for ovarian chance. She plans to have her ovaries removed too. Patients in Minot can inquire at Trinity Cancer Center if they think they should have this genetic test.
Jenene Kittleson, Trinity Cancer Center, " if it is doctor ordered, we draw blood or do a cheek swap, to see if you have the mutations"
Kittleson says only about 5-percent of woman have the gene mutation. But if a test is postive, young woman know to get frequent screenings. Older woman can determine if want to have their breasts or ovaries removed. The test is expensive, but Kittleson says some insurance companies will cover it.
A test that's can improve the way breast cancer is treated. 21 genes of a breast tumor are tested and scored. And that will help physicians figure out a treatment plan.
Jenene Kittleson "We are doing a lot of testing if they are eligible, it is helpful to the patient"
One of nine women will develop breast cancer in their lives, but as Kittleson says, at least there continues to be medical advancements in the fight against cancer . For Eye on Health I'm Carla Burbidge