While it's natural to wonder if you might have inherited an abnormal BRCA gene from one of your parents, it's also important to remember that the overwhelming majority of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. That's why genetic testing is recommended only for people whose family history or other factors suggest the presence of a gene mutation.
BRCA testing is done for people with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Last fall, one of my colleagues at BFFL CO discovered that she was BRCA positive. Her mother also tested positive. Naturally, they both had a number of questions for me and for their genetic counselor, so I decided to put together a checklist.
Decisions regarding genetic testing should never be made lightly. The results of these tests can require difficult and life-altering choices, for yourself and your family. Testing should only be done when you can actually use that information to take steps that will have a major positive health or life impact.