Offering Breast Cancer Genetic Testing in Williamsport, PA
The UPMC Susquehanna's Breast Health Center was among the first in the Central PA region to offer genetic testing for breast cancer in Williamsport, PA. Genetic testing is a valuable service for women with a genetic defect (increasing their risk of breast cancer). Both men and women can have this defect and can pass it down to their children.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a genetic defect that puts you at a higher risk for breast cancer, UPMC Susquehanna offers breast cancer genetic testing in Williamsport, PA. To receive the services you need, Find a Provider at UPMC Susquehanna.
Have questions regarding genetic testing? Browse through our FAQs regarding genetic testing and breast cancer detection.
Why Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer Is Performed
Your doctor may recommend genetic testing for breast cancer if:
- Your risk of getting breast cancer is higher. With a genetic defect, a woman has up to a 50 percent chance of getting breast cancer before the age of 50, compared with only two percent in the general population.
- Your risk of developing ovarian cancer is higher. With a genetic defect, a woman has up to a 40 percent chance of having ovarian cancer by age 70, compared with only two percent in the general population.
Are You a Candidate for Breast Cancer Genetic Testing
Genetic testing is considered especially for women with a certain family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer. A woman may be at a high risk if she has a family history of:
- Breast cancer at a young age
- Breast cancer in both breasts
- Ovarian cancer
- Male breast cancer
- Two or more close family members with cancer at any age
- Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
As part of the process, there is a discussion on all the options available to the patient if she decides to have the test and it comes back positive. If the patient decides to have the test, blood is drawn and results are typically back in two weeks. If the genetic testing results are negative in a family with a known genetic defect, the patient has only the same risk as the general public for developing these two cancers. However, if the cancer in the family has not yet been explained by a genetic defect, the family members remain at increased risk for these cancers and should be monitored more closely.
When the results are positive, care options are reviewed with the patient. Some options offered to women at a high genetic risk for breast cancer are:
- Take medicine such as Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer
- Have surgery to remove both breasts and/or ovaries
- Have more frequent breast exams and mammograms
- Discontinue birth control medicine
Genetic testing is covered by most insurances. For additional information, call the Breast Health Center at (570) 326-8200.
As part of our philosophy of prevention and early detection, UPMC Susquehanna offers genetic testing for breast cancer in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.