At Home DNA Tests

Posted by mjay @mjay, Feb 4 6:32pm

Hello,
Has anyone taken an at home DNA test, (23andme or Ancestry) and analyzed the raw genetic data provided? The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are included in these tests, but I also had those more cancer-type genetic testing through my doctor at the time of my BC diagnosis, which is probably pretty standard but proved negative. However, these DNA tests show other gene "SNPS" that may have contributed to my BC in some way. I'm just wondering if anyone else has learned about certain genetic SNPS that can be addressed more naturally to help prevent a recurrence, such as detoxification of liver and methylation issues. If you have such info based on these tests, I'd appreciate hearing from you. TIA!

Hi @mjay, please help me understand your question. You're wondering if taking an at-home DNA test can indicate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer could give you additional information to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of recurrence. (Boy that's a long sentence.) Do I have that right?

Would the result of the DNA test help you determine which life-style changes to make? Or could you make some lifestyle healthy choices that would benefit your health as well as reduce risk?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @mjay, please help me understand your question. You're wondering if taking an at-home DNA test can indicate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer could give you additional information to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of recurrence. (Boy that's a long sentence.) Do I have that right?

Would the result of the DNA test help you determine which life-style changes to make? Or could you make some lifestyle healthy choices that would benefit your health as well as reduce risk?

Jump to this post

Hi Colleen,
Thanks for your inquiry. I think you’re understanding correctly. Long story short: I had BC, but BRCA gene tests were negative. My mother and her two sisters had breast cancer but they found no genetic link with my BC. I recently took an at home DNA test and there were several BC genetic indicators not related to the BRCA genes, which are the most recognized BC genes. By researching these additional gene SNPs, they point to some issues with a MTHFR polymorphism, as well as some other factors such as detoxification issues related to methionine, etc. So after gaining this knowledge, I’m wondering if others have focused on correcting these other non-BRCA genetic factors. There are functional naturopathic type doctors, not traditional medicine, that would study these genetic factors and help guide you to address the issues. So, for example, the MTHFR SNP means I don’t absorb Vitamin Bs fully and that could be a factor in BC, although not as direct as the BRCA genes, so that can easily be addressed by making sure I get the most bioavailable form of Vitamin B and eating dark leafy greens. I hope that helps clarify where my thinking is going. There are many natural ways to address cancer that are related to a healthy diet and/or supplements that may actually reduce the risk of cancer returning depending on what your deficiencies are so that’s where my thinking lies. I hope that helps clarify!

REPLY

Anything else to take to prevent new cancer besides anastrozol? It makes me weak and joints ache.

REPLY
@mari

Anything else to take to prevent new cancer besides anastrozol? It makes me weak and joints ache.

Jump to this post

@mari
If you are estrogen/progesterone positive, there are two other aromatase inhibitors (AIs), i.e. letrozole and exemestane. There is also Tamoxifen. Please consider making an appointment in whichever capacity your oncologist has (virtual vs in person) to discuss all your options. All the best to you.

REPLY
@trixie1313

@mari
If you are estrogen/progesterone positive, there are two other aromatase inhibitors (AIs), i.e. letrozole and exemestane. There is also Tamoxifen. Please consider making an appointment in whichever capacity your oncologist has (virtual vs in person) to discuss all your options. All the best to you.

Jump to this post

@mari @trixie1313
As Trixie noted, there are three AIs (aromatase inhibitors: anastrozole/Arimidex, letrozole/Femara, and exemestane/Aromasin)… although similar, women tend to react a little differently to each, so giving another one a try may be worth it to you. All AIs tend to produce some bone/joint pain. Tamoxifen is a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator), as is Evista (raloxifene); both have their own common side effects. I would suggest going to the Mayo Clinic website to review the side effects for each of the above five, and then holding a discussion on them with your oncologist.

REPLY
@mjay

Hi Colleen,
Thanks for your inquiry. I think you’re understanding correctly. Long story short: I had BC, but BRCA gene tests were negative. My mother and her two sisters had breast cancer but they found no genetic link with my BC. I recently took an at home DNA test and there were several BC genetic indicators not related to the BRCA genes, which are the most recognized BC genes. By researching these additional gene SNPs, they point to some issues with a MTHFR polymorphism, as well as some other factors such as detoxification issues related to methionine, etc. So after gaining this knowledge, I’m wondering if others have focused on correcting these other non-BRCA genetic factors. There are functional naturopathic type doctors, not traditional medicine, that would study these genetic factors and help guide you to address the issues. So, for example, the MTHFR SNP means I don’t absorb Vitamin Bs fully and that could be a factor in BC, although not as direct as the BRCA genes, so that can easily be addressed by making sure I get the most bioavailable form of Vitamin B and eating dark leafy greens. I hope that helps clarify where my thinking is going. There are many natural ways to address cancer that are related to a healthy diet and/or supplements that may actually reduce the risk of cancer returning depending on what your deficiencies are so that’s where my thinking lies. I hope that helps clarify!

Jump to this post

@mjay, thanks for taking the time to explain. I get your query now. Unfortunately, I don't have answers. Genetics and cancer is a relatively new field and so much to explore.

SNPs of genes associated with breast cancer can be used as a potential tool for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment planning. You can read more here (medical journal): http://journal.waocp.org/article_27798_4f54566a1f0205b00300b100f6e33d37.pdf

While not specific to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), you might be interested in this Mayo Expert Q&A
– Cancer-Fighting Foods https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/cancer-fighting-foods/

REPLY
@mari

Anything else to take to prevent new cancer besides anastrozol? It makes me weak and joints ache.

Jump to this post

No one seems to talk about not taking these meds. They all have awful side effects as I have tried them all. I have stopped taking them since I can hardly walk on my feet or stand up straight. Was very healthy before all of this cancer happened. My margins are clean. I am putting my life in Gods hands so I can have quality of life.

REPLY

@queenmary25 I don't take any of the drugs either. Tried two of them I could barely walk with one. Quality of life was the deciding factor for me.

REPLY
@queenmary25

No one seems to talk about not taking these meds. They all have awful side effects as I have tried them all. I have stopped taking them since I can hardly walk on my feet or stand up straight. Was very healthy before all of this cancer happened. My margins are clean. I am putting my life in Gods hands so I can have quality of life.

Jump to this post

@queenmary25 and @jeannie53, this discussion is about single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and how to use genetic mutation information to help prevent recurrence. To discuss taking or not taking aromatase inhibitors, I invite you to this discussion here:
– Aromatase Inhibitors: Did you decide to go on them or not? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arimidex/

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@mjay, thanks for taking the time to explain. I get your query now. Unfortunately, I don't have answers. Genetics and cancer is a relatively new field and so much to explore.

SNPs of genes associated with breast cancer can be used as a potential tool for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment planning. You can read more here (medical journal): http://journal.waocp.org/article_27798_4f54566a1f0205b00300b100f6e33d37.pdf

While not specific to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), you might be interested in this Mayo Expert Q&A
– Cancer-Fighting Foods https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/cancer-fighting-foods/

Jump to this post

Thank you, Colleen. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about this topic in the future. I appreciate the research info!

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.