Breast cancer gene testing options

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Angelina Jolie recently announced her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after learning that she carries BRCA1, which is a gene that studies have shown increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

WAFF looked into this type of testing and found that there are test sites across Alabama. There is one in Mobile, two in Birmingham, and one in Huntsville at the Clearview Cancer Institute.

Doctors draw blood and then send it off to a lab in Utah. The test costs thousands of dollars and not all insurance providers are willing to pay for it.

Over 1-million people have had the testing done since it first became available in 1996, but the Susan G. Komen Foundation warns the test is not for everyone.

They advise that people with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer get tested, as well as people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

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