My medical geekiness showed its colors today. Last night, at the Young Survivors Sunday Starbucks group an amazing guest speaker mentioned the BART test for those who had tested BRCA negative. So, I dug out my trusty notebook of lab results, flipped to the genetics section and found my Mar 2007 “Comprehensive BRACAnalysis.” It lists the testing done as a “5-site rearrangement panel.”
Even with the technical specs, I can’t tell if this includes the BART or not. So I called Myriad Labs and they’re calling me back tomorrow. We’ll see.
Breastcancer.org forum participants assumed both that the 5-site included the BART, and that it didn’t. Confusing.
It’s important, because for those of us who test BRCA negative, “approximately 8.8% of individuals who meet…[a certain] …family history criteria will have a mutation detected by BART.” (For that link, scroll down to “8/1/2006 Further Enhancement to Genetic Testing of the BRCA1 / BRCA2 Genes.”)
I’m still mad about the whole genetic testing thing because I saw a genetic counselor BEFORE I got breast cancer. The statistical models at the time indicated that I was at no more risk than normal, to my huge relief. I knew better than to believe it, but I did because I so wanted to.
The facts point in an all together different risk direction: my mom, my aunt, their dad and mom, and their mom’s sisters (=my great aunts) between them have had 8 breast cancers, 1 ovarian cancer, 1 endometrial cancer and 1 colon cancer. Yes, some of it was, in genetics-counseling speak, “age-appropriate,” but still. Eeeks, right?!
And yes I’m posting more this month, in honor of NaBloPoMo and the onslaught of breast-cancer awareness that is October. If ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em.