What if you have a family history of breast cancer?
For women with a family history of breast cancer, there is the worry that they too will develop it. Many, like Angelina Jolie have been tested for the BRCA gene. In the past we believed that family history with or without the BRCA mutation was still a risk factor for developing breast cancer.
New evidence from Stanford
Allison Kurian is helping to provide peace of mind to millions of women. Her findings: There is no higher risk of breast cancer for women who don’t have BRCA mutation but have relatives who do.
In a recent multinational study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Stanford researcher Allison Kurian reported that women who don’t have the BRCA 1 or 2 mutations are NOT at higher risk for breast cancer, even if they have relatives with breast cancer.
It’s estimated that between 10-15% of breast cancers are related to the BRCA 1 or 2 mutation which also increases the risk for ovarian cancer.Previous research had found that even those women who tested negative for BRCA with a family history, still had a higher risk, however this large study of over 3,000 families provides more reassurance.
My mother had breast cancer and tested positive for a BRCA mutation. I recently had my test and it was negative. That means that my risk of breast cancer is the same as other women. However, it also means that my brothers need to be tested to see if they carry the gene that could put them at higher risk for other hereditary cancers.
Many women are concerned about genetic testing now that Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy.
I’ve also been covering a lot of issues surrounding women at high risk for breast cancer on CBS. You can watch my 5 minute segment here.