This wasn’t an issue 10 years ago, but now you can get tests for a range of genetic mutations, including those that confer a greater risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Before proceeding, ask your doctor what your options are if the test comes back positive. It could mean considering breast-removal surgery or, for colon cancer, it could be as simple as starting colonoscopies earlier in life. And get counseling along with the test. “It’s important to seek out a place that provides [that],” says Lillie Shockney, RN, the administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, in Baltimore.