Debu Tripathy on Genetic Risks for Breast Cancer

March 24, 2016
Debu Tripathy, MD

Debu Tripathy, MD, chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses genetic risk for breast cancer, the strongest factor in determining if an individual will develop the disease.

Debu Tripathy, MD, chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses genetic risk for breast cancer, the strongest factor in determining if an individual will develop the disease.

Tripathy emphasizes that patients with a strong family history or who develop breast cancer at a young age should be tested for gene mutations linked to breast cancer, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 . However, despite an increasing ability to detect these mutations due to improvements in DNA sequencing, Tripathy says that doctors should not over-test people that don’t need it, as the results may be hard to interpret.