Family History Of Breast Cancer Risks

Uploaded by drjayharness on 04.06.2012

>>>Dr. Margileth: One of things that one should always do in a patient with breast cancer
is to take a detailed family history to try to determine whether gene testing for what
is called the BRCA gene is indicated.
The BRCA gene or BRCA1 and BRCA2 are autosomal dominant genes that increased a family’s
risk of breast cancer up to a lifetime risk of 80% and might increase that family’s
risk of ovarian cancer up to 30 or 40%.
The things that would lead us to suspect that a family is harboring this gene are a number
of things. The younger the people in the family that have breast cancer, any ovarian cancer
in the family, a history of bilateral breast cancer, that is a patient that has breast
cancer in one breast at one time and another breast cancer in opposite breast at some later
time, any males in the family with breast cancer, these are all things that often lead
to at least the question of should we do gene testing on this particular patient?
In a family with a positive family history of breast or ovarian cancer, if it is possible,
we would prefer to test initially one of the people in the family that has the disease.
In other words if a daughter is unaffected and says that her mother had for instance
bilateral breast cancer, we would much prefer to test the mother if she is alive as that
will give us much better information. Obviously if there is no one in the family that is still
living, one obviously can consider testing one of the unaffected women.
The best way to approach this is to see a certified genetics counselor who will begin
by doing a three generation family tree and then there are various mathematical models
that will then tell that patient what is her risk of harboring the BRCA gene and consequently
her family’s risk of harboring that gene.
Given that information, the patient can then decide whether they want to be tested or not
and if positive one of the roles of the genetics counselor is to determine what other people
in the family should be tested. These would be siblings for instance, might have a 50-50
chance of harboring the gene or children in a positive BRCA women would have a 50-50 chance
of harboring the gene. So a genetics counselor can counsel the patient as to the appropriateness
of the testing, the reason for the testing, the implications of the testing, and who else
in the family should be tested so that we do not miss testing people who should be tested
and therefore missing an opportunity to possibly save someone’s life from either breast cancer
or ovarian cancer.
Hi, I am Dr. Jay Harness and I want to share with you an important information that I believe
that every newly diagnosed patient with breast cancer needs to know.
Susan Denver: “I am a breast cancer survivor.”
Katherine Stockton: “I am a breast cancer survivor.”
Coree: “I am a breast cancer survivor…”
Susan Denver: “…and I want every woman to know…”
Katherine Stockton: “…about personalized breast cancer treatment…”
Susan Denver: “…and the Genomic Test.”
Coree: “A test that helps guide a woman and her doctor…”
Katherine Stockton: “…to the best treatment options for her.”
Susan Denver: “Pass it on!”