Monday, September 27, 2010

Frick and Frack; BRAC and BART

"Frick and Frack" has become an English slang term used in two ways. One is to refer to two people so closely associated as to be indistinguishable; the other way is as a term of derision for any two people, on par with calling one person a "Bozo" or three people "Stooges".[1]

BRACAnalysis is the typical compBRAC (comprehensive BRCA analysis) test for people being tested without a known mutation in their family.  It's the test I knew I was having.  It costs approximately $3,400 at Myriad Labs, who is currently the only lab legally able in the USA to provide BRCA testing.  The comprehensive BRACAnalysis scans your DNA (Chromosome 17 and 13) for the 5 most largest and most common gene mutations. 

You can imagine my surprise when I spoke with Myriad Labs today and learned that two tests have been ordered to thoroughly exam the threads that make me uniquely me:  BRAC and BART.

BART or the BRACAnalysis Rearrangement Test as it is officially called, is a second genetic assessment for some high risk women who's BRACAnalysis comes back negative.  BART looks for additional arrangements of my DNA within those two mutations that may also lead to an increased risk for BC.  In order to qualify for a date with BART one must:
1) {come} from families with an inherited pattern of cancer but no identified mutation, and 2) whose family history meets certain criteria, and 3) whose initial testing produced a result of either “no mutation detected,” “genetic variant of uncertain significance,” or “genetic variant, favor polymorphism.” [2]

If you are considering the Comprehensive BRACAnalysis please keep in mind that BART, while extremely similar to her sister BRAC, is a different test that a.  comes after a negative result in BRAC, and b.  costs additionally.  Based upon my personal out of pocket for the second test, I'm assuming in the $600 range.

[1] Source:  Wikipedia
[2] Source:  Facing Our Risk for Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

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