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Lee G Wilke, MD discusses the role of genetic testing in patients who have a family history of certain diseases – in this case, breast cancer. Angelina Jolie’s high profile announcement after undergoing a double mastectomy is what brought the conversation front and center. Ms. Jolie underwent prophylactic mastectomy after learning she carried the gene that greatly increases her risk for breast cancer. Jolie says she decided to share her story in order to help other women be pro-active about their health by exploring the many options available to them.

According to Dr. Wilke, a simple DNA test for those genes – BRCA 1 or 2 – can identify a change in the DNA that puts a person at risk for the development of breast cancer. She also goes on to say that people who carry these genes are at risk for the development of breast and ovarian cancer. Not everyone, however, should be tested for the presence of these genes as there are national guidelines that help her and her team at the UW Health Breast Center determine who should undergo testing based on a woman’s family history of cancer.

To view Dr. Wilke’s full interview on Ch. 3 News, please click here.

To learn more about our team and the Breast Center at UW Health, please visit our website.

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