Genetic Testing Recommended for All Patients With Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 — Genetic testing should be made available to all patients with a history of breast cancer, according to an updated consensus guideline from the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS).

Researchers from the ASBS outlined recommendations for genetic testing that medical professionals can use for assessing hereditary risk for breast cancer. Data were included from large datasets, basic science publications, and recent updated national guidelines.

The authors recommend that breast surgeons, genetic counselors, and medical professionals knowledgeable in genetic testing offer patient education and counseling, make recommendations for genetic testing, and arrange testing for their patients. All patients with a personal history of breast cancer should be offered genetic testing, including BRCA1/2 and PALB2. Patients who have already undergone testing may benefit from updated testing; this benefit is particularly relevant for patients who had negative germline BRCA1/2 testing. Patients without a history of breast cancer who meet National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines should be offered genetic testing. Variants of uncertain significance are not clinically actionable and patients with these sequences should be managed based on risk factors.

“Our society has a responsibility to act when we see an opportunity to decrease unnecessary morbidity and mortality,” Walton Taylor, M.D., president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, said in a statement. “We do so today with the adoption of our new position on this issue.”

Consensus Guideline on Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer

Posted: March 2019

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