Dr Cris here with the Ask Dr Cris Show. Bridget would like to know ‘how do I test for breast cancer?’
Obviously there has been some media around some celebrities that have been diagnosed with breast cancer/ovarian cancer genes and have gone to the length of having preventative surgery to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. That gene is actually very rare so it is unlikely that the rest of the population, or very few people, would have that gene. Nevertheless it does cause anxiety. The best thing to do is look at your family tree. If there has been more than one first degree relative that has been diagnosed with breast cancer and they have been relatively young, under the age of 60, then your chances of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer, which can be the same gene that causes both, is relatively high and that warrants getting genetically tested.
Keep in mind most breast cancers and ovarian cancer are not related to any particular gene or we don’t have the mechanisms to test for that gene at this present moment and so to our knowledge they don’t exist but they may pop up in the future. The best thing to do if you are worried about the development of breast cancer and you have seen it in your family tree that there is some breast cancer and you are worried about yourself or your children, particularly your daughters, then you can speak to your local Doctor about having that tested. There is a few Government criteria in Australia in order to have that tested for free but you can always pay for it privately. It is about $1200 and that has to go through a Genetic Scientist or a Geneticist so that they can explain to you the pros and cons of having it tested. Do speak to your Local Doctor about that. It is a great question, it can be tested, it causes a lot of anxiety and if it is causing you anxiety go ahead and pay the money and have it tested and obviously be free of that from your mind and from your concerns.
Thank you so much for that question and I look forward to answering more of your questions below. I hope that you are loving The Ask Dr Cris Show and if you would like to see more of The Ask Dr Cris Show please press subscribe.
Holistic Medical Doctor, Author ‘Healthy Habits, 52 Ways to Better Health‘