hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk
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Listed below are three important steps young women can take to understand their hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk. For each of these cancers, there is a very strong hereditary component that can play an important role in prevention and treatment.
1. Learn your family history of breast or ovarian cancer; it may indicate you are at higher risk.
2. Approximately 10% of cancers are hereditary; genetic testing can reveal your inherited cancer risk. Mission Hope Cancer Risk Program offers a hereditary cancer risk survey and can guide you through the process. Please call 805.346.3456.
3. Know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice changes in the size or shape of your breasts, pain or nipple discharge, talk to your doctor right away.
What are BRCA genes?
BRCA stands for the BReast CAncer gene. BRCA genes—one from your mother and one from your father—help the body prevent breast cancer. Everyone has BRCA genes. But some people have mutations or changes in their BRCA genes which increases the risk for breast, ovarian, and other cancers. In fact, one in every 500 women in the United States has either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. If one of your parents carries a BRCA gene mutation, you have a 50% chance of also having the mutation. Up to 45% of women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation and up to 27% to inherit a BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by age 70.
Did you know? Fast facts:
• Breast cancer is less common in young women than older women, but younger women are more likely to have hereditary breast cancers.
• Thirty-five percent of patients without breast cancer undergoing genetic counseling risk assessment will meet the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) criteria for breast MRI surveillance, as their lifetime risk for breast cancer is estimated to be greater than twenty percent.
• Over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today