Knowing your breast cancer risk with genetic testing

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:01 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this year many women are taking a different approach to their health. With wellness appointments and mammograms delayed, and lingering concern about going into clinics, the usual conversations about breast cancer risk simply aren’t happening. In fact, according to a recent survey, almost half of women have had medical appointments canceled because of COVID, and that may include mammograms.

Additional findings from a recent Invitae survey include the following:

●       3 in 4 women are more interested in taking steps to improve their long-term health since COVID.

●       79% of women are aware that genetics play an important factor in long-term health.

●       69% of women are interested in having information about a genetic disease that runs in their family and their risk of developing cancer (68%), with 65% concerned about breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

Knowing if you’re at greater risk can help you make sure you’re getting the right screening and guide treatment for better outcomes. In fact a recent study found that women who had genetic testing before they were diagnosed with breast cancer lived longer. This month you can take action - even at home – to get ahead of your health by understanding your risk.

On Tuesday, genetic counselor Jenna Finley joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to explain why maintaining your health during COVID is more important than ever. She also highlighted the steps you can take from home to assess your risk of cancer – especially breast cancer. Jenna also shared her personal story of finding out about her increased risk for breast cancer and the steps she’s taken to be more proactive for her long-term health.

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