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Erin McCarty Gets the BRAC Analysis Genetic Test [VIDEO]

Townsquare Media Shreveport

Angelina Jolie’s announcement this week that she had a preventative double mastectomy after receiving the results of a genetic test shocked everybody. People specifically wondered exactly what the genetic test, which revealed the actress carried a gene that makes her highly susceptible to breast cancer, was.

Erin did some research and found out she could have the same genetic test Angelina Jolie had carried out right here in Shreveport. So that’s what she’s decided to do.

On Wednesday morning (May 15), Dr. Michael Schwalke and nurses from Willis-Knighton and the Shreveport Breast Center came to the 96.5 KVKI studio to conduct the genetic test on Erin. She was given strict instructions by the doctor: no food, drink or smoking after 6 a.m.

The actual process involves a small bottle of mouth wash and a collection tube. It takes only a couple of minutes.

What happens with Erin’s test now?

Dr. Schwalke says the test will be sent off to the lab for the complete genetics screening. Erin will get the results back in about 10 days.

Should you get the test?

“Women that have a strong family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Typically they will have first degree relatives (mother or sister) who are pre-menopausal who have either breast or ovarian cancer. Those women should consider the test,” said the doctor.

BRAC Analysis test
Townsquare Media Shreveport

How much does the BRAC Analysis test cost?

“The test costs $3700. It’s frequently covered by insurance companies if you have the right risk factors,” said Dr. Schwalke.

What can the test find?

The test determines if you have a gene mutation that makes you more susceptible to develop breast cancer. Erin has no history of breast cancer in her family, but also has no medical history from her father’s side of the family as he was adopted. Her probability of having the genetic mutation is about 1 in 400.

At what age should you get the test?

“Really it can be any time. If you have a family history and you’re young and planning a family, the genetic results can be useful in terms of determining your strategy for children and life. If you are older,  it may mean something different,” said Dr. Schwalke.

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