Genetic Testing

Although many women are aware that having a family history of breast cancer increases their risk of developing the disease, the fact of the matter is that up to 75% of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer do not have any specific risk factors- other than being a woman.

Risk Factors

Many risk factors are out of our control, such as family history, age when you had your first period, and age of your first pregnancy. With that being said, there are several risk factors that you can control. Lifestyle factors like regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, diets low in saturated fat, and moderation in alcohol consumption will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Each new patient is asked to complete a risk assessment that will be carefully evaluated by Dr. Sandford at the time of your initial consultation. This will help Dr. Sandford to tailor your treatment plan and to ensure that you are receiving the best care possible.

Our office is happy to provide genetic counseling and genetic testing, if appropriate, to our patients. Depending on your family history, you may be a candidate for BRCA gene testing. Mutations in one of these genes will lead to a significantly increased risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer, as well as several other cancers. Using either a saliva or blood test, it can be determined if you are a carrier for one or more of the mutations. The information gathered from genetic testing can be incredibly helpful in determining the best imaging and treatment options. When you are seen for a consultation, Dr. Sandford will review your history and discuss whether or not genetic testing may be appropriate for you.