Imperfect BRCA2 Genetic Test Prompts Family to Get Unnecessary Surgery

January 23, 2020

When she was in her early thirties, Katy Mathes took a genetic test to determine her cancer risk. She learned that there was a mutation on her BRCA gene, a phenomenon that raises a person’s lifetime risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. After the rest of the women in her family tested positive for the mutation, they all removed their ovaries and fallopian tubes, and two got double mastectomies. This year, they learned that the test results had overestimated their risk of cancer.

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