FILE - This undated fluorescence-colored microscope image made available by the National Institutes of Health in September 2016 shows a culture of human breast cancer cells.
FILE - This undated fluorescence-colored microscope image made available by the National Institutes of Health in September 2016 shows a culture of human breast cancer cells.

WASHINGTON - New health guidelines say more women may benefit from gene testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, especially if they already survived cancer once.
Mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 aren't common, but when they're passed through families they greatly increase the chances of breast, ovarian and certain other cancers. Some specialists say too few women who could benefit from BRCA testing are getting it.
 

FILE - A radiologist uses a magnifying glass to check mammograms for breast cancer in Los Angeles, California, May 6, 2010.
Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promise
A new form of drug drastically improves survival rates of pre-menopausal women with the most common type of breast cancer, researchers said on Saturday, citing the results of an international clinical trial. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, showed that the addition of cell-cycle inhibitor ribociclib increased survival rates to 70 percent after 3½ years.The mortality rate was 29 percent less than when patients were randomly assigned…

Guidelines have long urged doctors to ask women about relatives with BRCA-related cancers, and refer those who might need a gene test to a genetic counselor to help them decide.
 
Tuesday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said more women should be screened: survivors of breast cancer or other BRCA-related cancers _ and women whose ancestry is prone to BRCA mutations.