About Genetic Testing
The BRCA gene test is a type of blood screening that utilizes DNA analysis to identify any abnormal changes within the genes (BRCA 1 and 2) that are vulnerable to breast cancer. This is a preventive measure that helps determine the likelihood of developing cancer for those who have an inherited mutation or family history of malignancy in the breast and ovaries. Women who have the BRCA 1 and 2 genes are more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer compared to others without these genes. Women's Health at Valley View in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, and Silt, CO offers BRCA gene testing and has been helping women in the Roaring Fork Valley area for many years.
"Dr. Joel Dickens was our doctor throughout my second pregnancy and birth of our daughter two years ago. He was great about answering any of our questions and addressing any concerns we had along the way. He never made me feel like any of my questions were unimportant or silly and I was never made to feel that my concerns were irrational. I am now in my last weeks of my third pregnancy and am much less anxious knowing this baby and I are in good hands with Dr. Dickens. We highly recommend Dr. Joel Dickens!"- Anonymous / Vitals / Nov 19, 2018
"My son is almost 3 months and my initial intent was a home birth however with some pregnancy complications, I transferred to the clinic and my experience with Women’s Health was amazing. Everyone there is knowledgeable, open, friendly and helpful. I had a natural childbirth of a nearly 9lbs baby and Brenda Hanson was so encouraging and helpful. She really helped me make it through along with all of the staff at the family birthplace. It was truly a great experience that my husband, son and I are all grateful for. Could not be happier with the care."- A.B. / Google / Mar 05, 2020
"Another great visit after my recent procedure. Very impressed with this practice."- J.C. / SurveyVitals / Feb 20, 2020
"Truly BLESSED: - God has been so good to me, placing this woman in my path. She’s the first that took me seriously wo eye-rolls n the words “inconclusive” and “hypochondriac”!!!!!!!God alone "dropped her in my lap". I was at a Ladies' Bible Study n a woman there was talking about her Dr. n how pleased she was with her. I asked for the name:Dr. Katie Mang-Smith atWomen's Health at Valley-View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.She took the time to go over the paperwork / results from the multiple tests I've had done elsewhere since Jan 2017, multiple UAs, a cystoscopy, a CT scan, a pelvic ultrasound, and several pelvic exams,....) the problems I've been having that prompted me to have them, n my frustration of getting no answers / “inconclusive” results.The surgery was planned as "exploratory" to discover why n ended up being a major effort / undertaking of precision repair(s),for problems, some I suspected, some, no one had any clue!!!!!!!What was supposed to be 1 1/2 - 2 hours, was a 4 hour surgery!!!!!!!Grateful to God for His Provision!!!!!!!I had my surgery on Tuesday, 27 NOV, 18. It’s now Friday. Dr Mang-Smith came to my hospital room Tuesday afternoon to explain / discuss what she’d accomplished:After my previous partial hysterectomy (Colorado Springs 1998) and in the 20 years since,upon visual inspection, Dr. Mang-Smith discovered:Vaginal cuff, bladder, colon, ovaries and tubes all stuck together w a lot of scar tissue / adhesions,creating a large knotted lump / cluster of imperfectly, often painfully functioning organs, including confirmation of vaginal cuff that had come “unbuttoned” from the previous surgery.(Explains a LOT of on-going symptoms!!!!!!!)The pictures are shocking / stunning.She had to dissect it all to separate / get it apart.Once apart:Discovered a fistula n removed a portion of colon / repaired it.Removed (dead / atrophied / w cyst) ovaries n tubes.Put remaining items in their proper places, allowing them to freely move, naturally.Repaired the “unbuttoned” vaginal cuff.More incisions than planned to allow for tools -some glued, some sewn; a bit warm, but healing nicely.VERY sore -esp left side where biggest incisions are.On norco n ibuprofen for pain.On fluids, liquid diet / transition to soft / reg.Now home.Still a bit dizzy, n puffy from fluid, as well as some pain from gas, and other minor discomforts. Only a bit of nausea. A bit of fever yesterday, but all in all, vitals are good, n recovery seems to be going well.She called me yesterday and I told her how grateful I was -she’s basically saved my life. If all this had gone undiscovered (doesn’t show on any of the tests I’ve done!!!!!!!) for another 10-20 years, I’d never have survived it. (I’m 58 -would’ve had much more difficulty at 78!!!!!!!)Thank you SO very much, Dr. Mang-Smith, for your attentiveness, kindness, and skill!!!!!!! Recommending you will be one of the greatest privileges / pleasures of my life!!!!!!!Gratefully,Deborah Christine Garrett 🐝"- Anonymous / Vitals / Nov 30, 2018
"I've got to say Valerie the RN that took me back was wonderful. She helped me with the most advice first hand and she made me feel very comfortable. She is the sweetest."- Anonymous / SurveyVitals / Feb 20, 2020
Who should get tested?
BRCA testing is not right for everyone as having this type of gene mutation is very rare. Having a BRCA mutation can significantly increase one's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. You might want to consider gene testing if you:
- Have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Have a personal history of these cancers
- Have a male family member with breast cancer
- Have a relative with a known BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation
- Have an Eastern European or Jewish ancestry
Benefits and Risks
There are no medical risks involved with getting tested aside from a possible minor reaction to having a blood test, such as bruising or lightheadedness. The benefits include knowing if you have a genetic mutation or not, gaining knowledge about your health, relieving the anxiety of the unknown, and getting the treatment you need earlier rather than later when cancer is more difficult to treat.
What to Expect
At Women's Health at Valley View, we perform BRCA gene testing via blood analysis. After you have spoken with your healthcare professional or genetic counselor about getting the BRCA exam, we will schedule an appointment. On the day of your test, you will visit our practice to have your blood drawn. From there, we will send your blood sample to the lab for DNA analysis and call you when we receive the results. If you test positive for a BRCA mutation, we will carefully guide you through the next steps and how to move forward with treatment, if necessary.
Know Your Health
Knowledge is power and gaining the insight you need about your health can help prevent life-threatening ailments, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Call any of our Women's Health locations in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, or Silt, CO to schedule a consultation. Our caregivers are here to help empower you and educate you on your health so you can live a long and vibrant life.