Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BRCA Positively in the News

Watching ABC World News tonight, there was a chunk dedicated to how few doctors are recommending genetic testing to those with a high risk of developing breast cancer. According to this report, some 41% of doctors are educating their patients about the BRCA gene mutations. That leaves 59% of doctors NOT suggesting or even educating their high risk patients about the genetic testing available to them. And yet they are surprised when a 25 year old woman is diagnosed with breast cancer! I say kudos to the doctors (& thanks to my sister's) who are looking out for us & offering us information that might help save our lives. To the 59% of doctors who are NOT speaking to their high risk patients about genetic testing, I say shame on you.

As a teacher (whose mother is also a teacher), I know that the field of education is ever-changing. To choose a career in education means signing up for a lifetime of, not just teaching, but learning. Science & the medical field is another career path where evolution is not just expected, but demanded. For this reason, I am perplexed as to why so many doctors are still not up-to-date with genetic testing. We KNOW there is a gene mutation that DRASTICALLY increases a person's risk for breast & ovarian cancer. Why on EARTH isn't genetic testing a more common topic of conversation in doctor's offices? It's a simple blood test that can potentially save lives. If doctors aren't going to help us prevent breast & ovarian cancer, then I want their stupid faces to stop looking so surprised when they have to refer women in their twenties (& sometimes younger) to oncologists. COME ON...thanks to amazing human brains & hard work, we have the technology to potentially prevent life threatening diseases. So let's use it! I believe it's an injustice not to. A person always has the right to decline the test, but they should be offered as much information as possible. Knowledge is power!

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