You’ve probably heard of USPS, but are you familiar with USPSTF? And no, we’re not talking about your mail.
Let us introduce you to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of independent, volunteer medical experts who provide evidence-based guidelines for preventive care.
This group takes great care in weighing all the benefits, costs, and potential drawbacks of preventive actions before they present their final guidelines. When they say a screening or procedure is worthwhile, you can rest assured that there is plenty of evidence behind the statement.
That is why Bright Pink is excited to share the USPSTF’s recent update regarding BRCA mutations screening.
This week, the USPSTF announced that primary care providers should provide BRCA screening for women who a) have Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry or b) have a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer in addition to women who have a family history linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
Knowing ourselves and our risks empowers us to take important actions to improve our health. Mutations in the Breast Cancer genes greatly increase a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (up to 70%) and ovarian cancer (up to 50%). Women can manage and reduce these risks – but only if they know they have a BRCA mutation in the first place.
Thanks to years of research, we know that certain women are more at risk of having a BRCA mutation. In the past, medical providers mainly relied on a family history of breast, ovarian, or related cancers to screen women for these mutations.
We applaud this update to the guidelines, as it recognizes the importance of knowing yourself and the value of assessing your risk. Do you know your risk? It only takes 5 minutes to Assess Your Risk using our online tool. It’s an assessment approved by the National Society of Genetic Counselors that includes nationally recognized cancer screening criteria and other risk factors to help all women better understand their breast and ovarian cancer risk.
The USPSTF’s update could affect you. Share your Assess Your Risk results with your provider to start a conversation about your breast and ovarian health and how you can create a personalized action plan so you can live healthy. Already assessed your risk? Make sure your family history is up to date by filling out our Family Health History form. Share it with your family and your provider to remind them that knowledge is power.