IU Health Arnett talks genetics during Breast Cancer Awareness Month series


LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – All month long, News 18 This Morning has opened a discussion on breast cancer with different physicians from IU Health Arnett. The most recent guest was Dr. Pavan Ravella, and he spoke about genetics and women who are most at risk for breast cancer.

In recent years, the BRCA gene mutation and breast cancer have become synonymous.

“Everyone has a BRCA, but if you do have mutations — which we test if the patient has a family history of breast cancer — these patients are at high risk of developing breast cancer in the future,” said Dr. Ravella.

But it’s not only breast cancer, these patients are also at higher risk of ovarian cancer.

“Like any other condition, we always divide patients who are at risk for breast cancer into groups,” began Dr. Pavella. “The first group we have modified risk factors like alcoholism or obesity. The other group is nonmodified breast cancer like having a family history of breast cancer. … Those patients should get BRCA mutation testing.”