The BRCA genetic testing experience is somewhat simple but it can be very stressful. Many insurance companies now cover BRCA genetic testing costs, but getting your referral can take some time. I ended up leaving my family practice because they just couldn't seem to figure out how to submit my referral. I don't know what the problem was because my new doctor had no issues getting it submitted, though it did originally get denied. After speaking with my insurance company and my doctor we were able to resubmit and get everything sorted out.
Most insurance companies require you to meet a certain set of criteria before they will cover the costs of genetic testing. For Tricare you have to have a first degree relative with breast cancer or have a first degree relative that has tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation. There may be other ways to get approved but these are the two I remember right off of the top of my head.
Once my referral was approved I simply walked into the lab and had my blood drawn. It took about 5 minutes and the test was complete.
The hard part comes after the test... the waiting.
Knowing I was approved to get tested was hard for me, and then waiting for the results proved to be very stressful. I found myself thinking about it all the time, counting the days, and waiting for a phone call. I was told that it could take as long as a month to get my results back, and thankfully it didn't take a full month. It took exactly 16 days for my test results to make it back to my doctor, which was really a blessing because waiting was driving me crazy.
I think there are so many aspects of this journey that are hard but for me the unknown is always the most stressful.
If you can qualify for free BRCA genetic testing please consider it. We all have to make our own choice, and you may not be ready to face the results yet, but the only way you can take action is by educating yourself and knowing exactly what you're facing. I hope you will get tested.
You can learn more about my BRCA genetic testing results here.