Talking About Family Health History With Your Health Care Provider
Your family history of breast cancer and other health conditions is important to discuss with your health care provider. This information helps them understand your risk of breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen®s My Family Health History Tool
My Family Health History tool is a web-based tool that makes it easy for you to record and organize your family health history. It can help you gather information thats useful as you talk with your doctor or genetic counselor.
Scientists Reveal Which Genes Come From Your Mom And Which You Get From Your Dad
If youve heard someone tell you something like, You are a copy of your mother, you should know that this is a false statement. In fact, we are more like our fathers, and not our mothers. Besides, there is a theory that a fathers lifestyle before the conception of the baby, including the food he eats and how he feels, are the basis of the future health of the baby. This article will tell you about the traits that are inherited from the father and which are from the mother.
Bright Side wants you to remember that even if you have good genes, you should still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Because, in the end, your lifestyle is the key factor to how you will look and feel.
Most of the time, children inherit the shape of the tip of their nose, the area around their lips, the size of their cheekbones, the corners of their eyes, and the shape of their chin. These are the key areas highlighted during facial recognition, and people whose have similar-looking areas that we mentioned above, will appear almost identical to us.
And the area between the eyebrows is often very different.
Reese Witherspoons daughter inherited her mothers blue eyes, the shape of cheekbones, chin, and nose tip.
Mothers genes are usually 50% of a childs DNA, and fathers genes are the other 50%. However, male genes are much more aggressive than female ones, thats why they are usually more prominent. So, there are usually 40% of active female genes and 60% of active male genes.
Genetic Tests For Hereditary Cancer Syndromes
Genetic tests for mutations that cause hereditary cancer syndromes are usually requested by a persons doctor or other health care provider. Genetic counseling can help people consider the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing in their particular situations.
A genetic counselor, doctor, or other health care professional trained in genetics can help an individual or family understand their test results and explain the possible implications of test results for other family members.
People considering genetic testing should understand that their results may become known to other people or organizations that have legitimate, legal access to their medical records, such as their insurance company or employer, if their employer provides the patients health insurance as a benefit. Legal protections are in place to prevent genetic discrimination, including the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and the Privacy Rule of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
The page on Genetic Testing for Inherited Cancer Susceptibility Syndromes has more information on what tests are available and who may want to consider them.
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What Is Hereditary Breast Cancer
All cancer is caused by abnormalities, also known as mutations, in someones genes. Although most mutations happen by chance and some are thought to be caused by environment and lifestyle, some mutations are passed down and cause hereditary breast cancer. According to The American Cancer Society, 12- 14 percent of breast cancer is caused by an inherited gene mutation, which can be passed down from either the maternal or paternal side of the family.
The most common cause of inherited breast cancer risk is a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. People who carry the mutation in these genes have a condition called Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome . Women with HBOC have up to an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. To compare, an average womans lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is around 7 percent. Women with HBOC also have a 63 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer, compared to .7 percent for the average woman. Men with HBOC have an increased risk for breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Mutations in other genes like TP53, PTEN, CDH1, PALB2, CHEK2, ATM, NBN and BARD1 are also associated with breast cancer.
Genetic testing is the only way to determine if you have inherited a mutation in your genes that causes breast cancer. Please note: genetic testing does not tell you if you have breast cancer it just tells you if you are at increased risk for developing breast or other cancers.
Genes Mutations And Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which cells grow out of control. This happens because of changes in some of the genes inside cells. Genes are pieces of DNA that control how cells make the proteins the body needs to function, as well as how cells are kept in balance. Your genes affect things such as hair color, eye color, and height. They can also affect your chance of getting certain diseases, such as cancer.
Nearly every cell in your body has all of the genes you were born with. Although all cells have the same genes, different cells may use different genes. For example, muscle cells use different genes than skin cells use. The genes that the cell doesnt need are turned off and not used. The genes that the cell is using are activated or turned on.
An abnormal change in a gene is called a mutation. Mutations in a gene can affect how it functions. For example, a mutation might stop a gene from working. Or it might keep a gene turned on all the time . Either way, these can cause problems inside the cell.
Gene mutations can be either inherited or acquired.
Many family cancer syndromes are caused by inherited mutations in tumor suppressor genes. These are genes that normally keep cells under control by slowing down how often they divide , repairing DNA mistakes, or telling cells to die at the right time.
For more information about gene changes that can lead to cancer, see Genes and Cancer.
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What To Do If Youre Worried
Speak to a GP if cancer runs in your family and youre worried you may get it too. They may refer you to a local genetics service for an NHS genetic test, which will tell you if you have inherited one of the cancer risk genes.
This type of testing is known as predictive genetic testing. Its predictive because a positive result means you have a greatly increased risk of developing cancer. It does not mean you have cancer or are definitely going to develop it.
You may be eligible for this NHS test if the faulty gene has already been identified in one of your relatives, or if there is a strong family history of cancer in your family.
Having Certain Benign Breast Conditions
Women diagnosed with certain types of benign breast conditions may have a higher risk of breast cancer. Some of these conditions are more closely linked to breast cancer risk than others. Doctors often divide benign breast conditions into different groups, depending on how they affect this risk.
Non-proliferative lesions: These conditions dont seem to affect breast cancer risk, or if they do, the increase in risk is very small. They include:
- Fibrosis and/or simple cysts
- Mild hyperplasia
- Epithelial-related calcifications
- Other tumors
Mastitis is not a tumor and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
Proliferative lesions without atypia : In these conditions theres excessive growth of cells in the ducts or lobules of the breast, but the cells don’t look very abnormal. These conditions seem to raise a womans risk of breast cancer slightly. They include:
- Usual ductal hyperplasia
- Several papillomas
- Radial scar
Proliferative lesions with atypia: In these conditions, the cells in the ducts or lobules of the breast tissue grow excessively, and some of them no longer look normal. These types of lesions include:
Breast cancer risk is about 4 to 5 times higher than normal in women with these changes. If a woman also has a family history of breast cancer and either hyperplasia or atypical hyperplasia, she has an even higher risk of breast cancer.
Lobular carcinoma in situ
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Breast Cancer: Risk Factors And Prevention
Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.
ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
A risk factor is anything that increases a persons chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.
Most breast cancers are sporadic, meaning they develop from damage to a persons genes that occurs by chance after they are born. There is no risk of the person passing this gene on to their children, as the underlying cause of sporadic breast cancer is environmental factors.
Inherited breast cancers are less common, making up 5% to 10% of cancers. Inherited breast cancer occurs when gene changes called mutations are passed down within a family from parent to child. Many of those mutations are in tumor suppressor genes, such as BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. These genes normally keep cells from growing out of control and turning into cancer. But when these cells have a mutation, it can cause them to grow out of control.
The following factors may raise a womans risk of developing breast cancer:
Possible Low Penetrance And Modifier Genes Implicated In Breast Cancer
As noted above, inheriting a mutated allele of a breast cancer susceptibility gene is associated with a high probability of developing breast cancer. The high penetrance of these tumor-suppressor genes results in so-called cancer pedigrees, large families with multiple affected members whose analysis has led to genetic linkage and subsequent isolation of these genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2. In contrast, other genes have been predicted in which mutations might result in a more moderate increase in breast cancer risk. These postulated genes might have a low penetrance and thus act to modify or enhance other risk factors for breast cancer. While mutations in low penetrance genes would not be expected in breast cancer pedigrees, such mutations might be relatively common and hence play an important role in genetic predisposition to breast cancer within the general population. The first potentially common, low penetrance breast cancer gene to be tested is the ataxia telangiectasia gene. While its actual contribution to breast cancer is uncertain, other low penetrance genes that contribute to the development of breast cancer will undoubtedly emerge.
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Yes You Can Inherit Breast Cancer From Your Father Prostate Cancer From Your Mother And Vice Versa Heres Why
I look most like my dad, and he suffered from a heart attack early in life, so I will likely have a heart attack as well.
I have heard iterations of this statement in many genetic counseling sessions. When our interests, features or characteristics more closely align with one side of our family, its common to feel like we might have also inherited the same health traits and risks for certain diseases from that side of the family. However, we each inherit half of our DNA from each biological parent. Therefore, we are equally as likely to inherit risks for diseases or certain traits from our biological mothers and fathers sides.
As a cancer genetic counselor, I assess family histories for cancer occurrence in order to make an accurate risk assessment for an individual. Some of the clues that could point to a hereditary cancer syndrome in a family include:
- cancer diagnosed at early ages
- multiple family members with cancer on the same side of the family
- family members with cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family
- certain types of cancer, such as ovarian or pancreatic
- certain patterns of cancer within a family such as breast/ovarian/prostate or uterine/colorectal cancer
Even if someone reports a strong family history of colon cancer on their mothers side and that is what they are most concerned about, it is important to collect information regarding cancer history on the individuals fathers side as well.
Children Can Inherit Abnormal Breast Cancer Genes From Father
Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2 . Men are just as likely as women to have an abnormal breast cancer gene. If they have an abnormal gene, men are also just as likely to pass it on to both their daughters and their sons.
So a woman who has a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer on her father’s side has the same risk of having an abnormal breast cancer gene as a woman with a strong family history on her mother’s side.
Still, a study suggests that women are much more likely to be referred for genetic counseling if the family history of breast or ovarian cancer is on their mother’s side rather than their father’s.
This could mean that doctors aren’t recognizing that paternal family history of breast and ovarian cancer is equally important as maternal family history when considering abnormal breast cancer gene risk. It’s also possible that women themselves don’t consider paternal family history equal to maternal family history when talking about risk and family history with their doctors.
Having an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene has health implications for both men and women.
Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation:
- have up to a 72% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer
- have a much higher-than-average lifetime risk of ovarian cancer estimates range from 17% to 66%
Who’s At Risk For Developing Breast Cancer
You are much more likely to have a breast-cancer-related genetic mutation if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood relatives , on either side of the family, who had breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
- Both breast and ovarian cancer on the same side of the family or in one person
- A relative with triple-negative breast cancer by age 60
- Family members with cancers of the breasts, prostate, pancreas, stomach, uterus, thyroid, colon, or who has sarcoma or melanoma
- Women in your family with cancer in both breasts or ovarian cancer at any age
- Cancer in multiple generations on one side of your family
- Family history of child or young adult cancers
- Ashkenazi Jewish/Eastern European heritage
- Black and diagnosed with breast cancer before age 35
- Male family member with breast cancer at any age
- You know there are abnormal breast cancer genes in your family
Risk can also be measured as to how likely you are to develop breast cancer. The average American woman has a 12% risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime. Having a BRCA mutation increases that from 27% up to 72%. BRCA mutations tend to develop in younger women and occur more often in both breasts, compared to women without BRCA mutations. Only 1 in 400 people have mutations of the BRCA gene.
Having Dense Breast Tissue
Breasts are made up of fatty tissue, fibrous tissue, and glandular tissue. Breasts appear denser on a mammogram when they have more glandular and fibrous tissue and less fatty tissue. Women with dense breasts on mammogram have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with average breast density. Unfortunately, dense breast tissue can also make it harder to see cancers on mammograms.
A number of factors can affect breast density, such as age, menopausal status, the use of certain drugs , pregnancy, and genetics.
To learn more, see our information on breast density and mammograms.
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Tests For Brca And Other Gene Mutations
A genetic test can tell you if you have any mutations in genes that are related to an increased risk of breast cancer. Its important to know that genetic testing is most helpful when you have a strong family history of either breast or ovarian cancer or a personal history of breast cancer.
If youd like to be tested, contact your doctor or your hospitals education office. Ask for a recommendation for a genetic counselor. Make an appointment and discuss the risks of undergoing genetic testing.
Your genes may affect your risk for breast cancer, but your lifestyle can have an impact as well. Whether or not you have a genetic mutation, its important to lower your risk whenever you can.
The following preventive measures may help you avoid a breast cancer diagnosis.
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 And 2
MEN is a rare inherited condition in which tumours develop in different parts of the body. There are 2 types, MEN1 and MEN2.
People with MEN1 usually develop tumours in the pancreas, parathyroid gland and pituitary gland. Tumours can also develop in the:
The tumours can be non cancerous or cancerous .
MEN2 is caused by a fault in the RET gene. MEN2 can cause a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer. People with MEN2 also have an increased risk of developing adrenal gland tumours.
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Upper Paleolithic Or The Late Stone Age
Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin was the first to propose the out-of-Africa hypothesis for the peopling of the world, but the story of prehistoric human migration is now understood to be much more complex thanks to twenty-first-century advances in genomic sequencing. There were multiple waves of dispersal of anatomically modern humans out of Africa, with the most recent one dating back to 70,000 to 50,000 years ago. Earlier waves of human migrants might have gone extinct or decided to return to Africa. Moreover, a combination of gene flow from Eurasia back into Africa and higher rates of genetic drift among East Asians compared to Europeans led these human populations to diverge from one another at different times.
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