Starting this week, consumers can order the first FDA-approved at-home test to check for their risk of breast cancer.

“Consumers can now have direct access to certain genetic risk information,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a 2017 press release. “But it is important that people understand that genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle, it does not mean they will or won’t ultimately develop a disease.”

The test is provided by personal genomics company 23andMe and it screens for three types of DNA mutations, not all cancer-causing genes. But medical and mental health experts are weighing in on what patients should consider receiving their test results absent a professional.

Breast cancer is the second-biggest killer of women in the U.S.

Guests

  • Beth Peshkin Director of genetic counseling, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and professor of oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Roni Caryn Rabin Health reporter, The New York Times

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