The Wait for Genetic Testing before Treatment Starts

Posted by heatherannie @heathercantu, Jul 9, 2018

I was diagnosed with dcis in stiu with suspected mocroinvasion on June 18th. My Dr. Recommended genetic testing due to me only being 44 before deciding on a surgical plan. This Thurs. Will be three weeks since the testing and i still do not have results!! In the meantime i feel the cancer could be spreading. My dr. Said ot would not matter if we waited bc breast cancer is slow. Any feedback?

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Hi @heathercantu
I'm so glad you started this discussion. You'll notice that I expanded the description of the title of the discussion to be more explicit about waiting for genetic testing. The wait time is so hard. I think the reaction is universal when one hears the word cancer — just get it out. But getting all the information before making treatment decision can help you and your team make the right decision for the exact type of cancer you have. In your case, I believe they want to help you make the right decision about surgery. If it is found that you carry a BRCA gene mutation, you may wish to opt for a bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts). If you don't carry the gene, then you can opt for a less invasive surgery, called a lumpectomy, which removes only the lump and a surgical margin around in, but does not remove the breast.

Here are some articles that help explain more.

– Genetic Testing and Counseling for Breast Cancer Can Help Guide Tough Decisions
– Preoperative genetic testing impacts surgical decision making in BRCA mutation carriers with breast cancer: a retrospective cohort analysis

I might also suggest that you call to find out about the test results and when you can expect them. Also let your cancer care team know that you are anxious.

Heather, when is your next appointment with the breast cancer surgeon?

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