Know Your Risk Factors For Breast Cancer - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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The Ross Breast Center

Know Your Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Non-Hereditary Breast Cancer Accounts for 90-95% of All Breast Cancer

Most breast cancer is sporadic, or non-hereditary, the result of complex interactions between many genes and environmental influences. Testing of one or two genes cannot predict a woman’s risk of sporadic breast cancer.

We offer OncoVue, one of the latest breast cancer risk assessment tools, which uses both medical history and the DNA testing of multiple genes associated with sporadic breast cancer. A woman is given her OncoVue risk, along with her risk according to traditional statistical models, with individual recommendations for prevention and early detection.

Hereditary Breast Cancer Accounts for 5-10% of All Breast Cancer

Certain individuals may be candidates for testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. All people, men and women, have these genes. About 1 in 500 people has a harmful change or mutation in one of these genes. The cancer risks are very high for this small group of people – up to 85% lifetime risk of breast cancer in women, and increased risks of ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers.

You should consider genetic counseling and BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene analysis if you have had any of the following:

Personal history of:

  • Male breast cancer
  • Breast cancer before age 40
  • Two separate, primary breast cancers
  • Breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer and Jewish descent
  • Ovarian cancer at any age

Hereditary breast cancer may also be due to mutations in other genes (TP53, PTEN, CHEK2, ATM), and these genes are occasionally tested in individuals with other patterns of cancer in their families. Women or men contemplating genetic testing are given their likelihood of having a mutation using several statistical models, and the benefits and risks of genetic testing are discussed.

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