A new test may increase the need for areola restoration. A recently developed saliva-based genetic test is showing a great deal of promise for early breast and ovarian cancer detection. Purported to be so inexpensive women could pay for it out-of-pocket, sans insurance, the test could upend companies previously at the forefront of current screening methods.
How will it work?
Women will send their saliva to the startup, Color Genomics, for testing of the presence of BRCA1, BRCA2, and 17 other cancer-risk genes. A doctor hired by the company is involved from the onset of the process, with genetic counseling available for those with whom the cancer-risk gene is detected.
Due to cost, current screenings have been limited by insurers to those who already have or with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Offering the test for $249, one-tenth the cost of current screening methods, Color Genomics hopes to offer freer access to testing, and has even developed a program for providing free testing for women who cannot afford it.
Rival companies scrambling to maintain relevance
Former bitter rivals, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are pooling data with French researchers to better interpret mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2 in order to identify “variants of uncertain significance” – that 2 percent of results which cannot determine if a variant in a gene increases cancer risk or is benign, thus making the decision as to whether to remove breasts, ovaries, or fallopian tubes to reduce cancer risk exceedingly difficult.
Are you currently considering a mastectomy based on screening results? You have options. Contact the The Whitney Center to learn more about areola restoration after cancer surgery today.