Refinery29You pretty much had to have been in a coma to miss Angelina Jolie's New York Times May op-ed about her BRCA-mutation diagnosis, and the public discourse that followed. Now, Quest diagnostics, the country's biggest medical-lab testing company, has announced it will offer breast cancer-gene tests at its centers, which serve about half of the doctors' offices in the U.S.
But, with all the excitement about the testing and the false idea that a positive BRCA-mutation diagnosis allows women to preemptively strike against - and avoid - cancer, it becomes increasingly important to slow down and take a sober look at what this relatively new technology can and can't do. The test may be trendy, but not every woman needs it.
First, a little primer on the genes themselves: There are two BRCA genes - BRCA1 and BRCA2. When these genes are properly formed, they produce proteins that repair damaged DNA. But, when either genes mutate, its protein production dwindlesRead More »from BRCA Positive: Do You Even Want to Know?