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There’s a New Over-the-Counter Test for Breast Cancer Risk

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A new test can predict breast cancer risk. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A new test can predict breast cancer risk. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first at-home cancer risk test and it’s made by 23andMe. It works like the company’s popular ancestry test, analyzing DNA collected from spitting in a tube.

The test predicts breast cancer risk by screening for three mutations in the BRCA gene. An oncologist at Florida Hospital says these mutations are uncommon in the general population, which means that even if it comes back negative, it doesn’t mean a person won’t develop the disease.

The FDA warns the test should not replace standard cancer screenings and genetic counseling.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Health Reporter

Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan, and then taught high school writing and literature for four years before ... Read Full Bio »