DERBY, Conn. (WTNH)-- A clearer picture of your risk for breast cancer. There's a new test that could help doctors and patients better navigate the screening and treatment process.
Andrea is in for a simple test that could have a life changing impact.
"I have dense breasts and they are always finding something that is borderline suspicious. They just want to keep an eye on me," said Preston.
So she is getting a predictive risk test for breast cancer at the Hewitt Center for Breast Health at Griffin Hospital, among the first to offer it to women like Andrea with an intermediate risk for breast cancer.
"If we say you're an intermediate risk, there's still another question mark out there," said Dr. Denise Barajas.
Breast Surgeon Dr. Denise Barajas says the DNA swab will yield the answer to this question.
"It's looking at 7 different gene variances," said Barajas. "Are you high risk? In which case you may need a screening MRI, you need to consider genetic testing, you maybe a candidate for a medication like Tamoxifen."
"I think every woman should know their risk because once you know your risk, you can create a plan with your doctor, in which in the long run reduces your risk for breast cancer," said Preston.
Currently the risk test is only for Caucasian women, over the age of 35.
"It's looking at 80 percent of breast cancers, sporadic cancers, we're not looking at genetic breast cancers," said Barajas. "Without it, we know you are at intermediate risk, we're concerned about you but we really don't know at what level of concern to put you at."
But for women like Andrea...
"My great-great grandmother died of breast cancer, my mother has dense breasts," said Preston.
It's about taking control of her health.
"If my risk is high, it will be an incentive for her to take the test, we'll be working backwards of course, ultimately if I'm high risk it will benefit my daughter in the long run," said Preston.
Most insurance plans do cover the risk test.
It takes two to three weeks for the results to come back. Meantime, the company is looking into expanding the test so that all women with an intermediate risk can get it done.
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