Dr. Ruddy on the Importance of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

Kathryn Ruddy, MD
Published: Saturday, Oct 13, 2018



Kathryn Ruddy, MD, associate professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how genetic testing could impact treatment of patients with breast cancer.

According to Ruddy, it’s important to perform genetic testing for genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have already been determined to play a role in care of women with strong family history of breast cancer or patients diagnosed at a younger age.

Because rates of these mutations are higher in younger women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is best to do genetic testing early as it can impact surgical treatment decisions. It can also be useful in metastatic disease where PARP inhibitors are more effective in patients with BRCA mutations. Ruddy says that even though a patient here may not undergo breast surgery, understanding the mutations can still play a role in selecting systemic therapies.


Kathryn Ruddy, MD, associate professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how genetic testing could impact treatment of patients with breast cancer.

According to Ruddy, it’s important to perform genetic testing for genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have already been determined to play a role in care of women with strong family history of breast cancer or patients diagnosed at a younger age.

Because rates of these mutations are higher in younger women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is best to do genetic testing early as it can impact surgical treatment decisions. It can also be useful in metastatic disease where PARP inhibitors are more effective in patients with BRCA mutations. Ruddy says that even though a patient here may not undergo breast surgery, understanding the mutations can still play a role in selecting systemic therapies.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: How Do We Leverage PARP Inhibition Strategies in the Contemporary Treatment of Breast Cancer?May 31, 20191.5
Community Practice Connections™: A Better Way to Stop Pain: Paths Toward Responsible Postsurgical Pain Management for Patients With Breast CancerMay 31, 20191.5
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