Genetic Risk Assessment
Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?
Most cancer occurs by chance (also called sporadic). In some families we see more cancer than we would expect by chance alone. Determining which of these families have cancer related to an inherited gene mutation is important, as the cancer risks in hereditary cancer families are much higher than the general population. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is an inherited condition that causes an increased risk for ovarian cancer and early onset breast cancer (often before age 50). The vast majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is due to an alteration or mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. These mutations can be inherited from either your mother or father. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can be passed on in a family. If you have a mutation, your parents, your children, and your brothers and sisters have up to a 50% chance that they have the same mutation. Also, other relatives may be at risk to carry the same mutation. Testing is the only way to accurately identify mutation carriers.
If you are concerned about your risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, please see your medical oncologist who can assist you in the process.