Genetic Risk Factor
Five to ten percent of breast cancers are associated with a hereditary gene (mutation). The most common known inherited breast cancer genes are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Overall, for a person who carries a BRCA gene mutation, there is an estimated 50% to 85% chance of developing breast cancer during a lifetime. In addition, those breast cancer survivors who carry a mutation in one of these genes have an increased risk of developing a second breast cancer or ovarian cancer. The gene mutation can be carried and passed on by either males or females. Men who carry a BRCA gene mutation have increased risks for certain cancers, including breast cancer. There are other less common genes that are associated with inherited risk for breast cancer, such as the TP53, PTEN and ATM genes.
Genetic Counseling and Genetic Testing
Genetic counseling, includes a detailed family history evaluation and discussion, and is available to assess the likelihood of BRCA or other inherited gene mutation in the family.
If you are considering genetic testing, we strongly recommend that you first talk with our genetic counselor and physicians who are qualified to explain the potential benefits and results of testing, as well as discuss important issues such as risk to relatives, privacy and insurance, prior to deciding about testing. If you elect to pursue genetic testing, we will be available to assist you with this process.
Genetic counseling for patients seen at the Upstate Cancer Center is provided by: