Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Cancer Genetics

Inherited Cancer Risk

07/01/2010

Question:

Hi, I was wondering what my risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer would be with having one aunt on my dad`s side having ovarian caner at 50, and two of his other sister`s with breast cancer and then on my mom`s side both of her two sister`s having breast cancer in their late 50`s and early 60`s? Neither my mom or my own sister has had it to this date. Thank you

Answer:

Breast cancer susceptibility can be inherited from both your mother's side of the family and from your father's side of the family. The ages at which women in the family are diagnosed with cancer will influence your risk estimates of breast cancer, as will the number of women who have been diagnosed with cancer. Your father's side of the family has some features that might be somewhat suggestive of a stronger cancer susceptibility because of the combination of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

You should discuss the family history with your primary care physician or your gynecologist, and consider an appointment with a cancer genetics professional to discuss various ways to have your breast cancer risk evaluated, options for screening and options for risk reduction. You can locate a cancer genetic counselor by visiting the website for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC.org) or the National Cancer Institute website (Cancer.org).

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University