BREVAGen – life time breast cancer risk

BREVAGen is a new, scientifically validated test for assessing the risk of sporadic breast cancer.  BREVAGen has undergone a rigorous peer-reviewed validation study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center (TIMC) is the first provider in the area and one of the first in Ohio to offer this unique and amazing new test.

Sporadic breast cancer

More than 80% of women who develop breast cancer have little or no family history of the disease. This is known as sporadic breast cancer. Researchers know that certain risk factors, such as a woman’s age, age at her first menstruation, age at first child birth, and her number of breast biopsies, can change the risk for getting sporadic breast cancer. But medical history alone is not enough to identify those at higher risk for developing the disease.

Recently, a new link was discovered between breast cancer and the presence of specific genetic markers called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). The findings were initially reported in prestigious journals, Nature and Nature Genetics. The BREVAGen test calculates a woman’s genetic risk of breast cancer using these seven SNPS combined with her specific medical and family history. Of note, these SNPs are NOT from the well known BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants associated with inherited breast cancer.

How is the BREVAGen test performed?

The BREVAGen test consists of two parts. First, you’ll be asked a series of questions to determine your Clinical Risk of developing the disease. Next, your doctor will swab your cheek so we can analyze specific genetic markers on your DNA that can affect your risk of developing breast cancer. This combination allows your doctor to design an individualized plan for cancer surveillance and prevention.

 Who should take the BREVAGen Test?

BREVAGen is currently validated for use only in Caucasian women aged 35 years and above. Suitable candidates include:

  • Women with an ‘above average’ or high Clinical Risk  score
  • Women with high lifetime estrogen exposure factors, such as early menses and birth control pills
  • Female relatives of patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Women who have had a breast biopsy that was negative or reported as “atypical”
  • Women who have had a negative BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result
  • Women concerned about their breast cancer risk
  • Women who are concerned about risks of mammography, especially women with breast implants

Does my insurance cover this test? 

We provide the BREVAGen kits at no charge at our office. Your insurance company will be billed $975 for the test. If your insurance company does not pay the full amount, the maximum out of pocket you will pay is $250.  Patients without insurance will be billed $250. Your risk can change with time. For example, a family member may be diagnosed with cancer, you may lose 50 pounds or stop smoking. Each year, you will be notified by BREVAGen that it is time to update your risk history. You do not have to repeat the SNP test; that does not change. (Note: The cost of the test does not include office visit fee or the laboratory handling fee).

The cost of treating breast cancer in 2012 is $16.5 billion, approximately $72,700 per diagnosed case of cancer. And that doesn’t include the indirect costs of time away from family, friends and work. Compared to cost of treating cancer, the cost to preventing it is literally pennies.

We believe that adding the BREVAGen test to your annual Mammacare breast exam, breast thermogram and blood chemistry assessment for vitamin D, iodine, selenium and B-vitamins is the best predictive medicine you can possibly have.

 

NOTE: The test has been developed in Australia and has not yet been standardized for Asian, Hispanic or African-American women. 

NOTE: BREVAGen is not suitable for women who have had a previous diagnosis of LCIS, DCIS or breast cancer.

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