Many women want to find out if they are at risk for breast cancer and are interested to know more about genetic testing cost. This involves testing for mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which is done by taking blood samples in a doctor’s office and sending these to a laboratory. The genes are isolated from the DNA (other genetic materials) of the patient and are examined for abnormalities.
Genetic testing may be done either in a commercial laboratory or in a research laboratory. Genetic testing cost varies widely, depending on the type of test done. The cost for a commercial genetic testing is usually prohibitive.
Genetic Testing Cost
1. Cost of BRCA Test
Commercial testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the US is performed only by one company (Myriad Genetics). Aside from BRCA1 and BRCA2, other genes have been linked with increased risk for breast cancer, although research is still ongoing with regards to these less common causes of the disease. Genetic testing cost for BRCA genes may range from $300-$3000, depending on the type and number of genes being evaluated.
2. BART Test
The BRAC Analysis Large Rearrangement Test or BART is another laboratory test done with BRCA testing. This test examines for five abnormalities (large rearrangements), which are linked to a small percentage of mutations in the BRCA genes. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and have a strong family history of the disease usually need to include BART as part of gene testing. It is also performed in women who do not have a strong family history of breast malignancy and have negative test results for BRCA 1 and 2.
3. Insurance Coverage
Many insurance companies cover genetic testing cost for breast cancer. There is a law (2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) which protects against discrimination by insurance companies based on a person’s genetic information. Women who are concerned about privacy may shoulder the cost for genetic testing and submit their blood samples under code numbers or assumed names.
Here is a relevant video for more information:
Angelina Jolie Mastectomy: The Prohibitive Cost of Genetic Testing