In a study of younger women with breast cancer, more and more are deciding to get tested for the BRCA mutation, which they should be getting. Some of them decided not to get tested and just opt for mastectomy, but this is unnecessary in general.
A recent New York Times op-ed called for universal testing for the BRCA genes among women of Jewish descent, whose ancestry is from eastern Europe. The frighteningly high rate of BRCA positivity and the dire prognosis of such carriers are cited as the primary reasons.
It s hard to believe that anyone can not be aware of breast cancer (BC) these days, when the disease, putative causes and varying types of treatments are constantly the news. It s good to remind people, however, that breast cancer is not fully understood, that there may be more than one type, and that while life expectancy post-treatment has been increasing, there is no certain cure.
It may seem like the idea that the more information, the better is true in the medical field. Yet, that s not always the case. We see instances of overdiagnosis and overtreatment as a result of excess, unnecessary cancer
The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) evaluates evidence and provides screening guidelines for a number of diseases, including breast cancer. It has just updated its previous guidelines for breast cancer screening in women who have no personal history of cancer, but have a family history that indicates an increased likelihood of potentially harmful BRCA-related cancers.