Celebrities like Angelina Jolie have been bringing attention to the importance of genetic testing in determining breast cancer risks for years now, particularly since she announced her positive result and double mastectomy in 2013. The costs for tests to detect the BRCA gene mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer risks have also dropped dramatically – California startup Color Genomics now sell a saliva test kit for only $249, a huge drop from the previous US$2000 to $4000 price tag for wide panel gene tests.
While health authorities have braced themselves from the “Angelina Effect” they are not about to recommend at-home tests for everyone. In fact Patricia Ganz, MD, of UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center told NY Magazine that every 10,000 tests performed will only prevent 4 cases of breast cancer and 2 cases of ovarian cancer.
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