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The Breast Center Will Begin Offering Genetic Testing

Our main goals at The Breast Center are first and foremost to detect breast cancer as early as possible, and secondly, to provide personalized care. To provide this personalized care, we must really get to know our patients.

There are many ways that we provide personalized care. We recommend that women who have dense breast tissue have a screening dense breast ultrasound. Women who do not have dense breast tissue, do not require this test.  One size definitely does not fit all.

Another way that we provide personalized care is by assessing a patient’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. If a patient is at an increased lifetime risk, they may require additional testing such as an MRI. Family history plays a huge part in a patient’s lifetime risk score.

We are going to take personalized care to a new level beginning in August. The Breast Center will be offering genetic testing. Only about 10 percent of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have a genetic mutation. However, these patients’ risk of developing breast cancer sometime in their lifetime is exponentially higher than other patients without a genetic mutation.

Let’s take a look at how genetic testing is going to be done at The Breast Center. Because not everyone needs genetic testing, each patient will be asked to answer questions about personal and family history.  From the answers to these questions, a lifetime risk score will be calculated, and we will know whether the patient qualifies for genetic testing.

If a patient is a candidate for genetic testing, they will watch an educational video and speak to a genetic counselor on the telephone. Then we will visit with the patient to answer any further questions.

If the patient chooses to have genetic testing, they will be notified beforehand if there are any out-of-pocket expenses. There is financial assistance available through Myriad, the company providing the genetic testing.

The results will be returned to The Breast Center in a few weeks. At this time, the patient will return to The Breast Center to discuss these results and what they mean in terms of preventative testing. If the patient needs to be followed by a physician for these recommendations, we will facilitate that referral.

Having a high-risk breast center here in Midland assures our community and our patients once again that “there’s no place like home” when it comes to your breast imaging and breast care needs.


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