Were You Adopted? Should You Consider Genetic Screening?

When Angelina Jolie discovered she had risk for breast cancer, it began women thinking about their family history of risk. But those without family history have a whole different set of questions. Adopted children do not have family history, but many of us with few siblings or relatives also have a lack of actual risk data. In some cases this is because the tests were not available. Most of our patients with family members with breast cancer did not have that family member tested for the genetic risks because the tests were not yet available. So what to do about genetic testing if you were adopted? Ask a few questions:
1. Are you healthy?
2. Are you planning pregnancy?
3. Do you have children with medical problems?
4. Have you had miscarriages or infertility?
5. What is your ethnicity (at least based on what your birth certificate said).
6. Have you had a blood clot? Have you had a relative that has had one?
7. What will you do  with the answers? To me this is critically important, if it is not going to change what testing or medical care you will have then why get the test?
And furthermore, once tested, you have to consider future tests as testing has improved significantly and there may be tests appropriate for you now that you couldn't get before. 
These are complex questions, and their answers would determine whether you would need screening tests. Come in to gab with us about it!


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