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BART Test

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

In August 2009, I had genetic testing done for breast cancer (BRCA 1&2) because of my strong family history (my mother and two sisters had breast cancer). My test came back negative but a month later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

My cancer surgeon wanted to know why the hospital didn’t perform the BART BRACAnalysis® Rearrangement Test (BART) on me. He feels that this test would have come back positive. I was told by the genetic testing center that did the first test that I didn’t meet the criteria for the bart test as I didn’t have two first degree relatives that were diagnosed under the age of 50. My one sister was diagnosed at 45 and my mom and me were both 53. They also said that if I wanted the BART test done I would have to pay $600 out of pocket.

My doctor was very upset about this and found another local hospital that does genetic testing and assisted with getting my insurance company to pay for it. I am going for the test this afternoon.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone else who might have had a similar experience…..

Thanks…
Dot

ms_independent's picture
ms_independent
Posts: 216
Joined: Nov 2009

I didn't have a problem. I think it was because the oncologists office sent in a boatload of data with the blood. They talked about what they had to supply to get insurance approval. So, it sounded like it is frequently a problem. My history is similsr to yours: mother at 55, BC returned with metastasis @ 70, sister at 30 in one breast and at 55 in the other breast and me at 52. I also had an aunt with ovarian cancer and family with other cancers so, that may be what helped to prevent problems. Mine came back negative. My breast oncologist and my gynecologic oncologist both feel like it is genetic--they just don't know how to test for it or the test isn't sensitive enough.

I hope this helps, El

Toni_W
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

Dot53, I know your experience well. I am a bc survivor and I had my BRAC 1&2 test done in March 2006 (just weeks before chemo started). My results came back "genetic variant, favor polymorphism". This was enough back then for my oncologist (who knew my STRONG family history w/ bc) to encourage me to take a very pro-active stance on my treatment. I had an A/C cocktail for chemo, 38 treatments of radiation; and two years later (due to other complications) a full hysterectomy. My cancer was triple-negative, so no HRT for me; but plenty of pure misery as I entered menopause at 35 years old. Now here we are five years and seven surgeries later, and I go to my oncologist in August just knowing that I would get a clean bill of health and finally let my guard down a little bit about this cancer thing. During my appt, he provides me with a copy of an AMENDMENT to my BRAC 1&2 test from the Genetics Lab that states that based on the "genetic variant, favor polymorphism" diagnoses, it is recommended that I have the BART test done for full conclusion of my hereditary predisposition. What kind of crap is that!!?? The AMENDMENT was dated FIVE YEARS AFTER I had chemo, rads, and a hysterectomy!!! At any rate, the oncologist calmed me down long enough to explain that he wouldn't have changed my treatment course regardless of when this amendment came in; and TRUTHFULLY, I appreciate him saying that, but I am still ticked at the choices I felt that I was FORCED to make then to still be living today. So, of course I took the test. Today is two weeks after the blood was drawn for the BART test and I just got a call from the Labs telling me that my insurance provider will NOT cover the cost for genetic testing. OMG; is this a joke? I have spent most of today faxing info over to the oncologist's office asking for help in explaining this to my healthcare insurance provider. If it doesn't work, I will have to pay $700 to the lab for the test to be done. My oncologist says he needs the results before my next appt with him (in three weeks), but I just don't understand how this crap is allowed. The genetics lab changes their "diagnosis" FIVE YEARS after my test, and in order for me to know the "latest diagnosis" I have to shell out $700 because my insurance provider won't cover it!! It is hard to believe that medicine and technology and insurance providers are so out of touch with the folks that they are supposed to help.

Toni W.

Corinna11's picture
Corinna11
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2011

I understand totally! My ins. paid BUT, since the test came back negative despite also having a STRONG family history, they poopooed the severity of my cancer saying it was prob a fluke that I had cancer at all since of course the genetic test is the final answer! They put all their opinion eggs in the "genetic testing" basket and didnt even recommend chemo even though Im under 45, already had skin cancer, had 2 different kinds of cancer in both breasts and had lymph node involvement.
I would say forget the genetic testing if you really cant afford it and do everything you can as if the test came back positive. They cant test for all the genetic variables anyway. Keep us posted! Cory :)

Corinna11's picture
Corinna11
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2011

I understand totally! My ins. paid BUT, since the test came back negative despite also having a STRONG family history, they poopooed the severity of my cancer saying it was prob a fluke that I had cancer at all since of course the genetic test is the final answer! They put all their opinion eggs in the "genetic testing" basket and didnt even recommend chemo even though Im under 45, already had skin cancer, had 2 different kinds of cancer in both breasts and had lymph node involvement.
I would say forget the genetic testing if you really cant afford it and do everything you can as if the test came back positive. They cant test for all the genetic variables anyway. Keep us posted! Cory :)

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