Dr. Borgen on the Decision to be Tested for a BRCA Gene
Patrick Borgen, MD
Published Online: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Patrick Borgen, MD, chair, Department of Surgery, director, Maimonides Breast Cancer Center, discusses a patient's decision to be tested for a BRCA gene.
Borgen says that testing for a BRCA gene can have profound impact on individuals and families and that the decision to be tested should remain up to the patient.
While few women regret having a prophylactic or risk-reducing mastectomy, some do. These women who regret the procedure, Borgen says, are often those who are talked into it by their physician. The physician's job is to inform a patient about the costs and benefits of the procedure and let them make the decision.
An updated guideline from ASCO regarding the use of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in early stage breast cancer supports the use of the procedure over axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in a larger group of patients than previously recommended.