Could you be at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer?
Do you have a personal or family history of any of the following cancers?
- Breast Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Male Breast Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
You can inherit a broken gene, also known as a gene mutation, from either your mother or your father. Gene mutations in either your BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes make it much more likely that you may develop certain types of cancer:
- Breast Cancer: up to 87%
- Ovarian Cancer: up to 40%
- Male Breast Cancer: up to 6.8%
- Secondary Primary Breast Cancer: up to 64%
- Pancreatic Cancer: up to 7%
- Prostate Cancer: up to 15%
The good news is you can do something about it.
There is a genetic test that you can talk to your doctor about today that will let you know if you have a broken BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene. This is also knows as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome.
- Enhanced screening may increase the chance of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, when it may have a better chance of being treated successfully.
- Some women who test positive for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations may choose to start screening at younger ages than the general population or have more frequent screening. Some experts recommend that women who carry a harmful BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation undergo clinical breast examinations and/or mammograms every year, beginning at age 25 to 35 years.
- No effective methods of ovarian cancer screening currently exist.
- The benefits of screening for breast and other cancers in men who carry harmful mutations in BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 is also not known, but some expert groups recommend that men who are known to carry a harmful mutation undergo regular mammography as well as testing for prostate cancer.
Is BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Testing Appropriate for You?
Genetic testing may be appropriate if you have a personal history and/or family history of any of the following:
- Breast cancer diagnosed at age 45 or younger
- Triple negative breast cancer diagnosed age 60 or younger
- Bilateral breast cancer (breast cancer in both breasts)
- Ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer at any age
- Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast cancer at any age
- Male breast cancer at any age
- Three or more cases of breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and/or prostate cancer (on the same side of the family)
- Known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in the family