A relative having breast cancer does increase the risk of breast cancer. However, the strength of association depends on the genetic reason for the cancer. About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary. These are due to errors in the DNA that are passed on from parents. There are chances that a person could be the first in the family with this mutation.
GENES RESPONSIBLE FOR HIGH RISK OF BREAST CANCER
The error in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for most of the hereditary cancers. The average woman has about a 12% risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. This risk increases to 80% if these genes are abnormal. These patients tend to develop cancer much younger and cancers occur more often in both. These women also have an increased risk of developing ovarian, colon, pancreatic and thyroid cancers. In addition, men with these abnormal genes have an increased risk of prostatic cancer.
Apart from BRCA1 and BRCA 2 there are many other genes that can increase the risk of breast cancer. These include abnormal ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, MRE11A, NBN, p53, PALB2, PTEN, RAD50, RECQL, or RINT1 gene. At MACS Clinic, genetic tests are available to determine if someone has these genetic abnormalities. A genetic counselor also may order testing for more genes based on your personal or family history