Should genetic testing be part of the treatment decision process?

The majority of breast cancers occur as unconnected (sporadic) cases and are not caused by an inherited genetic abnormality (mutation) passed from parent to child. However, if you have close family members, such as a mother or sister, who have had the disease, especially if it occurred at a young age, then the possibility of a genetic predisposition should be investigated. In these situations, genetic testing may provide valuable information. The test results may affect not only recommendations for your therapy but may also have major implications for other family members as well. Gene testing should only be done after careful genetic counseling so that everyone has a thorough understanding of the potential value and also the limitations of these tests.

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