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Ask an Expert is a free question-and-answer service about breast cancer and breast health that is available on weekends. If you'd like to ask a question or comment, please visit us again on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, please search the existing topics using the search tool at the top of the page. It's quite possible that one of our many existing topics already addresses your question.

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Concerns about Breast Cancer Family History
Questions on genetics, family history & breast cancer.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
1/10/2018I was recently Dx with IDC, HER2 neg, ER 100% +/ PR 70%+, grade 1, 7mm in size. No axillary nodes visible on MRI. My sister was Dx at age 40 with Cancer in situ. She had lumpectomy and radiation. It reoccurred about 4 years later and she opted for bilateral mastectomies. My first cousin on my fathers side Had the same scenario as my sister. I have elected to have lumpectomy, radiation and oral med but am now being told I need to get tested for BRCA 1 and 2 and if I have the abnormal gene, should consider mastectomy to reduce risk of reoccurrence. I understood that the reoccurrence rate with my first choice is between 7 - 8% and with mastectomy reissue is reduced to 3 - 5%. Is this correct that mastectomy is best if you have the abnormal gene? I am 68 yrs old
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
1/10/2018Many women who carry a BRCA gene mutation opt for elective removal of their breasts (and ovaries) to drastically reduce their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, although this is a personal decision. First, get tested to see if you carry the gene. If so and you would like to come to us for guidance on future steps, please call us at 443-997-1513. We'd be most happy to help.

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


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