Women can now self-test for breast cancer gene mutations at home. The FDA has approved 23andMe’s genetic testing for three types of BRCA gene mutations that make women more likely to get breast cancer. Women just need to send in a saliva sample, and 23andMe will let them know if they’re at risk.
Women’s Health advocate Alejandra Camoverdi stated, “My mom had tested positive for the gene, so I decided that I want to know and test against it myself. And when I want and did that, I actually didn’t tell her or anyone my results for months, like 5 or 6 months, or something like that, because you know, it’s very personal decision that every woman has to make for herself.”
An estimated one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. About 72% of women with the BRCA gene mutation will have breast cancer by the time they’re 80, along with about 69% of women with the BRCA2 gene.” Campoverdi has the BRCA2 mutation and is encouraging others to get tested for it as well.
23andMe can only test for three types of mutations and there are more than 1,000 known BRCA mutations. So women are still encouraged to consult with a doctor.