FOLLOW UP: BRCA Test Checks for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

FOLLOW UP: BRCA Test Checks for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genes, Patient Gets Results

Posted: Updated: - Women in our area are getting better access to a potentially life saving test.

Last month NBC Right Now shared the story of Judy McDonald Paxton, she has a family history of breast and ovarian cancer which puts her at an increased risk of developing the disease herself.

In March, she underwent the BRCA test that checks for the cancer gene and after several weeks of anxiously waiting, her results are in. 

"Well I'm feeling a little anxious my heart is beating a little bit faster than it normally does I just want to get the results, it seems like it's been a long time," explained McDonald Paxton as she sat in an exam room at Trios Health Friday waiting for her results. 

Rachel Gorham, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner at Trios Health, suggests the test for her patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer like McDonald Paxton, the test checks if a patient inherited the cancer gene. 

It consists of swooshing around two small cups of mouthwash for about 30 seconds each and then spitting them into a test tube, which Judy did at her last appointment.

"Good to see you," said Gorham as she walked into the exam room and shook McDonald Paxton's hand. "Alright are you ready for this? Well let me just get it out in the open," she said. "Your BRCA results are negative."

"I am relieved, I can't even describe the feeling I am just so relieved for myself and my daughters," said McDonald Paxton after going over the results.

But her journey does not end here, even though herBRCA is negative she still has a family history of these cancers.

"We don't have to worry that she has an 87 percent risk of breast cancer or the 44 percent risk of ovarian cancer but she's not at general population risk so she's not at the 8 percent for breast cancer or the 1 percent for ovarian cancer so she kind of falls in to this high risk group<' said Gorham.

Although McDonald Paxton is still at a high risk for cancer at 16 percent the good news is she does not carry the cancer gene, it is news she could not wait to tell her daughters.

Although the BRCA test is not widely offered in our area and more local health professionals are being trained in it.

Women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer should contact their health provider about getting the test.