Regional Cancer Center ~ Erie, PA

Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Testing

Will Genetic Testing Be Covered By My Insurance?

Most commercial and federal insurance plans will pay for at least part of the test, if not all of the test. You can contact the lab prior to your test to determine and estimate your out of pocket responsibilities.

How Does Genetic Testing Work?

The genetic test is done using a blood or saliva sample. Your sample is sent overnight in a special kit to a genetic testing company (this is all coordinated by RCC). Once your sample arrives at the company, your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are analyzed. Everyone has these genes – they each have a specific role in your body. The genetic test looks for any mutations that cause an increased risk of cancer.

Can Genetic Testing Results Be Used Against Me?

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (2008) prohibits discrimination by health insurance companies and employers based on genetic information. Additionally, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) prohibits discrimination against employees and their dependent family members based on any health factors they may have, including prior medical conditions, previous claims experience, and genetic information.

If I Previously Had Cancer, Do I Need Genetic Testing?

BRCA1/2 genetic testing is most useful when first performed in a family member who has already had breast or ovarian cancer. Results can provide an explanation for why the cancer occurred, and, more importantly, can provide information about future cancer risks. Genetic test results can change your ongoing medical management and can help your family members understand their risk of developing cancer.

How Should I Tell My Relatives About My Genetic Test Results?

Genetic test results may be shared in a number of ways including by telephone call, visiting in person, letter, or email. It can sometimes be challenging because genetic testing is a very personal process, and everyone reacts to this type of news differently.

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