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Genetic screening - a sensible precaution or sword of damocles???

(6 Posts)
CountessDracula Wed 15-Aug-07 12:28:50

It has been suggested that I go for genetic screening for breast cancer (not in immed. family but my Aunt had it). Personally I would rather not as I feel it would be a bit of a sword of damocles if I was genetically pre-disposed to it. Why can't they just give me regular mammograms (which let's face it is all they would do if I did have the gene)

CountessDracula Wed 15-Aug-07 12:29:09

Also what about life insurance etc, would that not just rocket in price?

themoon66 Wed 15-Aug-07 12:31:14

You can bet life insurance companies will use it to put their charges way up.

SlightlyMadSpider Wed 15-Aug-07 12:46:34

I assume the aunt that had it is your mothers sister? Are there any other family members which have had it. I think that I would do it if there were more people in the family affected or it was a closer family member like my sister.

Thing is - even if you do get screened you could open the potential risk of complacency - and assume you are in hte clear. Not all breast cancer has a hereditary component. Or do they know hers is a potentially hereditary form?

janinlondon Wed 15-Aug-07 12:55:04

Have a look here under What to do if you have a positive genetic test:

www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=5689#options

There are other options apart from regular mammograms. Including joining a trial on prevention..

CoteDAzur Wed 15-Aug-07 13:50:18

The genetic screening does not change whether or not you have the "sword" hanging over your head. It just allows you to see it, if it is already there.

If it is only your aunt, I am surprised they would suggest the screening. Normally, this is suggested when multiple members of your close family have suffered from breast cancer, suggesting a genetic link.

There are women who have opted for double mastectomies after finding out that they carry this gene. So, no, regular mammographies is not all that is available.

Terrible choice to have to make, though. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

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