Fears Grow Over 23andMe Breast Cancer Risk Test
Following the news earlier this week that 23andMe received FDA approval to tell you about your breast cancer risk, genetic experts aren’t convinced that this is a very good idea.
This means that 23andMe is the first direct-to-consumer genetics test allowed to provide some information about your genetic risk for cancer, specifically around three mutations to the BRCA1 and BRCA2, reports Business Insider.
To do the test, it will only set you back $199 for both the ancestry and health components.
“Worrying about the many current 23andMe customers who have one of or more of these variants has caused me sleepless nights,” said 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki.
However, genetic counselors who help people navigate tests like this, have concerns about the newly-approved test – mainly around how users will interpret the results.
Kathy Hibbs, chief legal and regulatory officer at 23andMe, said that the three mutations tested for are among the most well-defined when it comes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Therefore, if someone has a family history of breast cancer, they might want to make a more comprehensive, test that looks for more mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes.
“The point of our product is to give individuals a broad screen,” she added. Then, if a deeper screen is needed, the user can choose whether to get their doctor involved.