WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Close to half of breast cancer patients who chose to have a double mastectomy after genetic testing didn’t actually have the gene mutations known to raise the risk of additional cancers, a new survey found.
“That was a bit surprising, because we wouldn’t typically expect that surgery to be conducted for women if they don’t have a risk-causing gene mutation,” said lead researcher Dr. Allison Kurian. She is an associate professor of medicine, health research and policy at Stanford University.
The finding suggests that many women and their doctors aren’t interpreting the results of genetic testing properly, she added.
There are known genetic mutations that increase future risk of cancer, the most notorious of which are BRCA 1 and 2.
But genetic tests also often detect mutations of uncertain significance, Kurian explained.