BREAST CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Only about 25% of those will have a family history of breast cancer. Of those, only 6% are related to the BRCA I and BRCA II gene. It is important to remember that men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer and should not ignore a new breast mass. We can predict increased risk using Risk Assessment Tools and in some cases gene testing.
- Cancer Risk: You surgeon may use a risk model called the Gail risk model which takes into consideration many factors including previous breast biopsy results and family history. For a comprehensive risk assessment theNational Cancer Institute has put together a web link titled Understanding the Puzzle. Please visit http://understandingrisk.cancer.gov/* for more information.
- BRCA testing: BRCA I and BRCA II are genes which are known to infer a higher than normal risk of many cancers to include breast cancer in carriers of this gene. Here a Womack, we offer genetic counseling and genetic testing by way of a buccal (cheek) swab. We know only certain people should be tested for the gene. Patients should also have a clear understanding of the implications of gene testing. You may consider talking to your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Personal History of breast cancer diagnosed before 50
- Ovarian cancer at any age
- Male breast cancer at any age
- Multiple primary cancers
- Bilateral breast cancers
- Ashkenzai Jewish ancestry
- Relative of a BRCA mutation carrier
- Family history of breast cancer before 50 and/or multiple relatives on either your father or mothers side of the family