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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: One Woman's Story Underscores Importance Of Understanding Risk

ROGERS, Ark., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At age 44, Cyndi Pierre believed that her family history of breast cancer – her mother and sister were both diagnosed – put her at risk for developing the disease, too. She ate healthy, exercised, and saw her doctor regularly for mammograms, which were normal. Pierre even tested negative for the BRCA "breast cancer" gene but, knowing that almost 80% of breast cancer cases are sporadic and involve little to no family history of the disease, she wanted to learn more.

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"I thought I had covered all my bases, but I couldn't shake this nagging feeling," Pierre said. "So I took the next step with the BREVAGen test. The results made it possible for me to get insurance coverage for a 3-D MRI, and I discovered I already had cancer. I feel that test saved my life."

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Phenogen Sciences Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Genetic Technologies Group (NASDAQ: GENE) and makers of the BREVAGen breast cancer predictive risk assessment test, congratulates Pierre for stepping forward as the first patient to acknowledge BREVAGen's role in saving her life from breast cancer. Clinically validated, BREVAGen is the latest advance in assessing a woman's unique risk of developing non-familial or sporadic breast cancer. To honor Pierre, the company has made a contribution to her fundraising efforts for the 31 st Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® 60-mile walk.

Pierre's story is one of determination and collaboration. After talking with her care team about doing everything she could to prevent breast cancer, Pierre's nurse practitioner suggested BREVAGen—a noninvasive DNA test that analyzes a woman's genetic and clinical risk factors to determine her risk of breast cancer. BREVAGen showed Pierre's risk was 33 percent—nearly three times higher than the average woman's. Cyndi's high score prompted her insurance company to approve a more sensitive 3-D MRI, which would give doctors a more detailed look at her breast health. That test detected a small lump in her left breast. It was cancer.

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