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Testing Your Child For Cancer

Would You Have Your Child Tested?

If you had a crystal ball and could look into your child's future and know the probability of her developing breast or ovarian cancer, would you do it? If your answer is "yes," some of your curiosity could be satisfied.

There's a test in the medical community that tells a person if he or she is a carrier of the BRCA mutation, which can indicate a higher likelihood of cancer in the future. Estimated to cost about $3,000, the test is not something every family can afford. Price aside, many families may opt not to take the test, as it could put undue pressure or worry on a youngster who might otherwise lead a happy, carefree life. On the flip side, there might be potential benefits to knowing what a person's chances are for developing such a horrific illness. Having found out they have a higher chance of developing cancer, some people choose to avoid birth control or smoking, as both could potentially increase the likelihood of testing positive.

A moral dilemma arrives when parents make that choice for their minors, giving them no say in the matter. Tell me, if you had free access to such a test for your child, would you do it?
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