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Genetic Testing Specialist

Dallas Surgical Group

Breast Cancer Surgeons & Skin Cancer Surgeons located in Dallas, TX

Genetic testing is all the rage for people interested in learning more about their family heritage, but genetic testing for breast cancer takes the concept to a higher level. Peter Beitsch, MD, at Dallas Surgical Group has specialized in genetic testing for more than 20 years, providing testing and accurately interpreting the results so that he can assess your risk for breast cancer, determine how your body will respond to treatments, and help you prevent the disease. If you’re interested in genetic testing for breast cancer, call the office in Dallas or book an appointment online.

Genetic Testing Q & A

Why should I consider genetic testing for breast cancer?

Only 10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer inherit the disease, yet your family history is still a strong indicator of your risk for carrying a genetic mutation.

You may benefit from genetic testing if any of the following describes your family history:

  • First-degree relative (mother, daughter, or sister) diagnosed with breast cancer
  • One or more women in your family diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45
  • Breast or ovarian cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family
  • Come from Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Have a male relative diagnosed with breast cancer

If genetic testing shows your chances of developing breast cancer are higher than normal, you can take steps to prevent cancer or have your health closely monitored. 

Dr. Beitsch offers specialized services for women with a high risk of breast cancer, including:

  • Personalized surveillance program based on your risk
  • Biannual breast exam with in-office ultrasound
  • Recommendations for lowering your risk of breast cancer
  • Appropriate referrals to behavioral medicine and nutrition therapists
  • Breast cancer prevention medications
  • Prophylactic mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction

Dr. Beitsch also offers counseling surrounding your genetic testing, taking extensive time to accurately explain your test results and give you the information needed to decide your next step.

What type of genetic testing is performed?

Genetic tests are usually done using a sample of your saliva rarely blood is needed). After your samples are collected, they’re tested for mutations in BRCA ½ as well as more than 30 other genes associated with breast cancer as well as many other genes associated with other cancers

If either BRCA gene is mutated:

  • Your risk of breast cancer is six times higher compared to women who don’t have the mutation
  • You’re at a higher risk of developing breast cancer at an earlier age
  • You have a higher risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast following cancer in one breast

If you have a BRCA mutation, you also have a higher risk of developing ovarian, fallopian tube, peritoneal cancers, pancreatic cancer and melanoma

Other genes carry different levels of breast cancer (and other cancer) risk. Dr. Beitsch will tailor the discussion to your particular situation.

Dr. Beitsch is a principal investigator for the iGAP Registry™, a nationwide database with information about the genetic mutations in women with a high risk for breast cancer. In addition to actively participating in genetic studies, Dr. Beitsch has access to a broad range of information about genetic testing and optimal breast cancer treatment based on your genes.

If you’re interested in genetic testing and risk assessment for breast cancer, call the Dallas Surgical Group or schedule an appointment online.

That is genetic testing, what about genomic testing and how does it improve breast cancer treatment?

Dr. Beitsch has special expertise in performing genomic testing that reveals information other than your risk for breast cancer. He does tests that show how well your body metabolizes different medications and whether your body will respond to radiation or chemotherapy. 

He runs genomic tests in women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ that help predict how rapidly the cancer may grow and spread. Genomic testing can also show your risk for recurring cancer following your treatment. 

With the depth of information provided by genomic testing, your breast cancer treatment can be customized and dosed to best fit your body.