DIY Breast Cancer Test Could Be A Cheaper Solution For Early Detection
Prescreening for breast cancer will soon be easier than ever, thanks to one Silicon Valley startup.
Color Genomics, founded by former Google engineer Elad Gil, is the company behind a line of revolutionary at-home DNA screenings, which test for genetic mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
In all, the test analyzes 17 different potential cancer markers, two of which are the most commonly known BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
The BRCA1 mutation increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by a whopping 80 percent and ovarian cancer by 50 percent.
While women could test for these genes in the past, the in-office procedure was expensive -- up to $3,000.
Color Genomics' test, on the other hand, is only $250, and the saliva samples are taken at home (but mailed to and processed at a laboratory).
Dr. Gil explains,
We founded Color because we want to give every person the opportunity to understand their genetic risk of cancer. This important information gives people the opportunity to work with their physician to manage their risk and make key life choice[s].
To ensure a physician is involved in the process, Gil made it so the at-home test is only accessible through a doctor.
Currently, the test is available in 45 states -- excluding New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida -- and should soon be available nationwide.