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Tests for All Diagnosed

The American Society of Breast Surgeons is recommending that all women diagnosed with breast cancer be offered genetic testing for inherited mutations, the Washington Post reports.

The organization released new genetic testing guidelines for breast cancer in which it said that BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 testing should be offered, along with testing of other genes if warranted by clinical findings or family history, to all breast cancer patients. It also recommended that patients who underwent genetic evaluation in the past for whom no pathogenic variant was found consider updated testing.

Walton Taylor, the president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, tells the Post that other guidelines are too narrowly drawn. "Too many patients develop cancers that might have been prevented or found earlier if genetic testing had been performed," he adds at the Post.

The Fox Chase Cancer Center's Mary Daly, who chairs the National Comprehensive Cancer Network panel on hereditary breast cancer, tells the Post that she finds these recommendations interesting, but notes that a lot of the newly identified inherited variants don't led to changes in treatment.

Other oncologists have had mixed reactions, the Post says. While some say testing will provide doctors and patients with key information, others are not sure how much value more widespread testing will have and say it may just increase costs, it notes.