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|Concerns about Breast Cancer Family History
Questions on genetics, family history & breast cancer.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|3/16/2011||My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 60s, followed by another primary cancer a few years later. Her mother was diagnosed in her 40s followed by another primary (however she did not die from this). Neither were ever diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I understand that two primaries are a hint at a genetic mutation. I learned that my paternal grandmother had her ovaries removed for unknown reasons in her 50s (would this affect that she got diagnosed with breast cancer much later than her mother, or does this have nothing to do with it?) I am 30 years old and recently found out that I am a BRCA1 carrier. I am meeting again with a counsel and doctor to discuss screenings and preventive measures. My mother does not have BRCA so I know it comes from my dadís side. My question is: it possible that the gene I have came from my fatherís father side and not from his motherís side? If I got the gene from my paternal grandmotherís side, is it possible for the gene to act different in each person? I am asking because before I found out that I was a carrier, I was more concerned about breast cancer than ovarian, but now that I know I am a carrier I am more concerned about ovarian. Does it matter at all that there is no known cases of ovarian cancer on that side of my family where it is assumed that the gene came from?|
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|3/16/2011||We get 50% of our genes from our Mother and 50% from our Father. The fact that there is a family history of breast cancer on your father's side of the family probably indicates the gene came from father's side. That being said, it would seem more likely that the gene came from your father's mothers side, since these are the people known to have breast cancer. Your genetic counselor should have done a family pedigree to track both maternal and paternal cancer incidence.In terms of your paternal GM having ovaries removed, since most breast cancers are ER positive, the likely hood is that removal of ovaries would/could decrease incidence breast cancer.Please talk throughly with a genetic counselor specializing in oncology and also talk with a medical oncologist on high risk prevention and surveillance methods. Best wishes.|
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