Should you be tested?

Referral guidelines for BRCA testing  

These are the guidelines used by GPs to determine whether or not a patient should be referred to Genetic Health Service NZ for a risk assessment for BRCA and other rare genetic mutations. 

NB: Even if you do qualify for a referral, further investigation by genetic counselors may find that you do not need a genetic test.

If you've had cancer, you should be referred if:

  • It was triple negative breast cancer, and you were diagnosed under 50 years old
  • It was any kind of breast cancer and you were diagnosed under 40 years old
  • It was ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer
  • It was lobular breast cancer, and you have a family history of lobular breast cancer or stomach cancer
  • It was breast cancer, and you're male
  • You've had two primary breast cancers, and the first was diagnosed when you were under 50
  • You've had two or more different types of cancer

If you haven't had cancer, you should be referred if you have two first* or second** degree relatives diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer on the same side of the family AND:

  • One of those relatives had breast cancer diagnosed under 50 years old
  • One of those relatives has had more than one primary breast cancer
  • One of those relatives had both breast and ovarian cancer
  • One of those relatives is male and has breast cancer
  • You have Jewish ancestry
  • You also have one or more additional relatives with breast or ovarian cancer

*First degree relatives are: parents, siblings and children

**Second degree relatives are: grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, grandchildren, and half-siblings

You will also be eligible for referral if an adult blood relative of yours has an identified genetic mutation (BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, PTEN, STK11) and you have not been tested. 

If any of these criteria apply to you, talk to your doctor about referral to Genetic Health Services.

For more information, visit our breast cancer in families page.

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