Some patients with breast cancer might be apprehensive to undergo genetic testing, but it is crucial both for them and their family members. Lauren Carcas, MD, medical oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute, discusses some main points nurses can make to these patients to encourage them to get tested.
I always argue that knowing family history is arguably one of the most important things to know about what your risk is for breast cancer. And just like I said, I think that genetic testing is a situation where knowledge is power. If you know your risk, you can potentially take action to reduce that risk, and potentially nearly eliminate that risk. But if you already have a diagnosis of breast cancer, it's really important because that might impact your treatment decision.
Really you have to be your own advocate, and part of advocating for yourself is knowing the total history and knowing the total diagnosis. Knowing that you have a gene mutation that is the underlying cause of your diagnosis is really important.