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Learn From Testing

As more cancer patients undergo genetic testing, the Washington Post writes that their results sometimes give them more information than they were counting on, but also sometimes less than they'd hoped for.

As the Post notes, the American Society of Breast Surgeons recommended last year that genetic testing be available to all breast cancer patients, while the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommended in December that breast cancer patients' personal cancer history and family history be used to guide testing.

When patients do undergo testing for hereditary breast cancer, the Post writes that some like Lisa DeAngelico learn about their increased risk for other cancers. This, it adds, can help guide her treatment and suggest additional testing for their family to members. But other patients like Kristel Baffa receive uncertain results, such as a finding of a variant of unknown significance. "I didn't even know that was an option," Baffa tells the Post. "I thought the results would be black and white."

Other people, it adds, just don't want to know at all and skip testing.