Breast and Ovarian Cancers Can Run in Families
Your mother or grandmother. Your sister or daughter. Your father’s sister, niece, or other women from your father’s side of the family. If you or your close relatives have a history of breast or ovarian cancer, there may be an inherited risk that runs in your family.
In every family, certain traits are shared and passed on from one generation to the next. Most obvious are physical traits such as eye or hair color, or resemblances that parents and children share. Less obvious are inherited genetic traits that control the tendency to develop specific diseases, such as certain cancers.
Many people don’t realize that about 10% of breast and ovarian cancers are hereditary–that is, they are due to a mutated (altered) gene passed on from parent to child. You don’t actually inherit cancer, but rather you inherit a higher risk of developing it.
Does Breast or Ovarian Cancer Run in Your Family?
If there’s a pattern of breast and/or ovarian cancer in your family, you can reduce your risk. You may benefit from learning more about your own risk. Current cancer research shows that early detection–along with proactive medical care– has been proven to help reduce cancer risk, and save lives.