In previous videos, professor Nazneen Rahman explained how mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 can cause cancer, and how we are making gene testing easier for cancer patients. But gene testing can also prevent cancer from occurring in the first place. Find out how in this video:
One of the best things about genetic testing is that it provides an opportunity to prevent cancers from occurring in the first place. Relatives of women with mutations can choose to have a test if they want.
If they don’t have the mutation, then they’re not at increased risk of cancer, and they don’t need any extra screening or any surgery.
If they do have a mutation, obviously that’s less good news, but they have that information before they’ve got cancer, and that gives them options. They can choose to have extra surveillance, or they can choose to have surgery to remove the tissue, so they don’t get cancer in the first place.
You can prevent thousands of cancers in this way. In theory, all BRCA-related cancer is preventable.