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Private gene testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2

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Member

Re: Private gene testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2

Hi Louise

 

I'm glad the info was of use to somone.  I had no idea where to start to get private gene testing but it was something I wanted to pursue for my own peace of mind and for the sake of my children and family.  Sounds like you are in a very similar position.  You may qualify on the NHS but if not, this option is pretty straight forward, very accurate and very reasonably priced in comparison to UK companies. 

 

The Color website takes a bit of navigating to get to the right section but if you need any further advice I'd be happy to answer any further questions.  The Counsellor was lovely when talking me through my results.  I had her on speaker phone so my Husband could be involved in our conversation.  The whole service was very professional.  They did actually find a mutant gene in my saliva (they test around 30 different genes) but it is nothing to do with breast cancer thank goodness.

 

Wishing you the best of luck with your testing x  

Member

Re: Private gene testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2

Thank you for this wealth of information.  I am currently trying to have this testing on the NHS.  My father and cousin (on dads side) both died from cancer.  My cousins sister also had cancer.  This is my 2nd time  with breaat cancer.   I have been given a very long form to fill in.  If my application is rejected I plan to go private.  I have 2 daughters whom I worry about.  Thank you for giving an idea of the cost, and all the other details

 

Louise

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Member

Private gene testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2

I wanted to post something on this forum as I have recently paid privately for BRCA1 & BRCA2 gene testing and it may be something that some of you are possibly considering.  I did not qualify on the NHS for gene testing but cancer appears to be prevalent in my family.  My Mum was diagnosed with Breast cancer 12 years ago (2007) at age 63.  I’m very happy to say that she is now 12 years on and living a full and happy life at 75 with no further issues.  My Father tragically died of pancreatic cancer which spread to his liver and lungs.  I also have 2 paternal Uncles who have prostate cancer. 

 

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutant gene increases the risk dramatically of breast and ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.  I was the second generation to be diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted to be sure it was a case of bad luck rather than due to the hereditary mutant BRCA gene.   I have 3 children, a Mum, Brother and Sister who also have children so I felt it important to know for all of our sakes.  My Oncologist explained that in order to qualify for BRCA gene testing on the NHS, both my Mum and I would be under the age of 50 at diagnosis for breast cancer.  I was happy to accept this criteria but I still felt I needed some peace of mind.  He explained that if I was going to pay for private testing it would be good to get it done before I had surgery (planned lumpectomy) at the end of chemo.  If I tested positive for the BRCA gene I would be retested (via a blood test) on the NHS to validate the results.  If the BRCA gene was confirmed we could discuss preventative surgery i.e. double mastectomy and both ovaries removed in order to reduce the risk of reacurrance. 

 

The NHS  cannot recommend private gene testing companies but the Genetics Doctor at my hospital was aware of a US company called Color; a specialist gene testing company (www.color.com).  I also researched a few companies in the UK but the costs were significantly higher, around £1,000-£1,500.   I paid $350 (around £275) to have the test privately with Color.   It was a very professional and efficient service.  I spoke with a genetic counsellor; she called me from the US at an agreed date/time.  She explained the process and advised that the saliva test was over 99% accurate.  They test for a whole range of mutant genes, not just BRCA gene (and including the PALB2 gene also associated with breast cancer) and also screen for heart health issues.  I purchased a saliva testing kit through their website which was delivered by DHL courier.  I had to spit saliva into a small test tube and return the kit via DHL courier.  I completed an on-line health questionnaire and a family tree showing members of my family who have/had cancer.  I received my results within 3 weeks through a conversation with a Counsellor and a report for my retention (they advise that you share the results with your health care team).  Thankfully I do not have the mutant BRCA gene which is a huge relief for me and my family.   However if the result had been different and shown I did have the BRCA gene, at least I would have been in a position to be retested on the NHS and make an informed decision about preventative surgery.   It would also mean that my family members would have qualified for testing on the NHS for the BRCA gene.

 

I would recommend Color as a company if you are considering private BRCA gene testing as I was very happy with the service I received.  I hope this helps someone reading this forum in a similar position to me.