What is Hereditary Breast Cancer     |    Who Should Be Tested     |    Why Should I be Tested     |    Understanding the Results     |    Expert's Perspective  
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Who Should Be Tested

When there is a suspicion of a hereditary syndrome, a thorough family history must be obtained. The family history information is recorded in the form of a family tree for three or more generations. The family tree includes information on patient and healthy family members.
Individuals with one or more of the following characteristics must be tested for hereditary cancer:
  • Women with history of breast AND ovarian cancer.
  • Women with ovarian cancer and one first or second degree relative (mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, aunt) with:
    • ovarian cancer, 
    • premenopausal breast cancer 
    • or both
  • Women with breast cancer before the age of 50 that have at least one relative with ovarian cancer or a male relative with breast cancer
  • Individual with a relative that has performed the genetic analysis and a pathogenic mutation has been detected. 
  • Male with breast cancer in the family.
Important Family History Information:
  • 50% of BRCA mutations are inherited from the fatheríís side
  • Families with few members or families with few female members can conceal BRCA mutations 
  • Young age is as strong of an indication as strong family history
Other Important Criteria:
  • Women with breast cancer before the age of 40
  • Women with primary ovarian cancer, peritoneal cancer, fallopian tube cancer regardless of age
  • Women with bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)
  • Women with breast cancer at any age and more than 2 close relatives with breast cancer at any age (especially if at least one case was diagnosed before the age of 50)
  • Healthy women with first or second degree relative that fulfils the above criteria.

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