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A 37-year-old female asked:

is brca genetic testing a simple blood test?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Douglas Miller
Pathology 41 years experience
Easy but expensive: Testing for mutations in the brca1 gene is relatively easy; yes, the dna can come from white blood cells from a blood sample. However as of now this remains a fairly expensive test; the new supreme court decision voiding the patent on the gene will probably lead to lower costs through competition but i don't think this has happened much yet.
Dr. Maulik Shah
Clinical Genetics 24 years experience
Yes: BRCA testing can be performed from either blood or saliva. A significant amount of DNA needs to be present for adequate testing so most companies require more than a finger stick blood draw. Usually a single blood tube containing 3 ccs of blood is adequate
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Obstetrics and Gynecology 11 years experience
Simple blood test: Women w/ 2+ immediate family members w/ a hx of breast/ovarian CA at 50% chance of developing breast cancer. If you have it, get screened with CA-125 blood test, ultrasound, mammogram/MRI, usually starting at age 30. Surgery after childbearing.

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Last updated May 26, 2015

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