The purpose of this consensus guideline is to outline recommendations for genetic testing that medical professionals can use to assess hereditary risk for breast cancer.
Literature review included large datasets, basic and clinical science publications, and recent updated national guidelines. Genetic testing to assess hereditary risk of cancer is a complex, broad, and dynamic area of medical research. The dominant focus of this guideline is limited in scope to breast cancer.
There is a lack of consensus among experts regarding which genes among many should be tested in different clinical scenarios. There is also variation in the degree of consensus regarding the understanding of risk and appropriate clinical management of mutations in many genes.
Genetic testing should be made available to all patients with a personal history of breast cancer. Recent data are reviewed that support genetic testing being offered to each patient with breast cancer (newly diagnosed or with a personal history). If genetic testing is performed, such testing should include BRCA1/BRCA2 and PALB2, with other genes as appropriate for the clinical scenario and family history. For patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer, identification of a mutation may impact local treatment recommendations. Patients who had genetic testing previously may benefit from updated testing. Genetic testing should be made available to patients without a history of breast cancer who meet National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. Finally, variants of uncertain significance are not clinically actionable and these patients should be managed based on their individual risk factors.