Study Finds At-Home 23andMe Genetic Test Not Reliable in Detecting Breast Cancer Risk

By: Courtney Floyd


The popular at-home genetic test 23andMe is making headlines again. Recent research presented at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics annual meeting showed the tests are not a reliable predictor of breast cancer risks.

23andMe’s tests for breast cancer risks, BUT only for 3 out of over 1000+ genetic variants. The results of the study found that as many as 90% of breast cancer risk increasing genetic mutations could be missed.  Although 23andMe does specifically state on their website that it is testing for only three of the known breast cancer gene mutations, consumers may be misled into thinking they are not at risk for breast cancer when they in fact are. 

It is important to remember this test is NOT a substitute for a proper evaluation by a doctor and genetic counselor. Although this test is less expensive and perhaps more convenient, the knowledge that comes with these test results is extremely limited and should not be used to make any medical treatment decisions.

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