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Concerns about Breast Cancer Family History
Questions on genetics, family history & breast cancer.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
2/8/2016I am a 13 year survivor of breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation for Stage 1, HER2+, ER/PR-. I recently spoke with a genetic counselor and she advised testing for the BRCA gene. I've had two female cousins on my father's side of the family who got breast cancer, and one of them also got uterine cancer. Both were postmenopausal. My brother had bile duct cancer. My question is this. If I were tested, how would that benefit me? I'm afraid it would just make me more nervous whenever I get a new ache or pain. Thank you.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
2/8/2016your increased risk is not very increased with this family history given it was several generations from you and not a first degree relative. plus there were post menopausal making it less likely further that a gene is at work in your family. that said, if you were to have a gene, then likely a discussion about getting ovaries and fallopian tubes would happen since breast cancer genes also increase the risk of getting ovarian cancer which is hard to detect early. If you were in your 20s or 30s when diagnosed yourself, that would influence her recommendation more to get tested.

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