Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience and a medical advice columnist for Newsmax Magazine. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Should I Have the Cancer Test Angelina Jolie Had?

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 09:42 AM

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Question: My mother had breast cancer and I’m wondering if I should I have that genetic test Angelina Jolie had and consider having a double-mastectomy. What do you think?
 
 
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
The genetic testing available for detecting inheritance of the breast cancer gene is still imperfect. The presence of this gene is definitely a concern to those with these risks, and a bilateral mastectomy can be a lifesaving procedure.
Usually we need to see two relatives with breast cancer before we become too concerned about the presence of this gene. The fact that your mother had breast cancer is sufficient for me to agree with you to have testing done, but you still need to be aware that the absence of the gene does not protect you from having the same condition your mother suffered.

If you your tests come up negative, you still will need to follow regular breast self-exam and screening procedures recommended by your family physician.

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