A new kit that allows you to test your risk for possible breast cancer mutations, from the comfort of your own home, has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Made by 23andMe, the test could be available without prescription and it will be the first of its kind to report on specific BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer gene mutations.
The test works by analyzing collected saliva and revealing increased risk of certain cancers through examining the DNA.
That being said, the FDA has warned that the test should not be used as a replacement for proper healthcare.
Donald St. Pierre, acting director of the FDA’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, warned that the test has a few drawbacks. For instance, it only tests for three out of more than a thousand known BRCA mutations.
Speaking to USA Today, he added: ““The test should not be used as a substitute for seeing your doctor for cancer screenings or counseling on genetic and lifestyle factors that can increase or decrease cancer risk.”
Even with these drawbacks, because of the easy accessibility that 23andMe is offering for this risk test, it is still a milestone in DNA testing and it will likely help save countless lives.