In yesterday’s blog we told you about the genetics of breast cancer, but: DID YOU KNOW: breast cancer can run in families, even when there is no evidence of the BCRA gene?
A family history of certain types of cancer can increase your risk of breast cancer. This increased risk may be due to genetic factors (known and unknown), shared lifestyle factors or other family traits.
Only about 13 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a first-degree female relative (mother, sister or daughter) who also have breast cancer.
A woman whose mother or sister has breast cancer is almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer as someone who has no family history of the disease. If more than one first-degree female relative has been diagnosed with, the risk is about three to four times higher.
Interestingly, the younger your relative was when she was diagnosed, the greater your chance of getting breast cancer. For example, if your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer before she turned 40 you have about twice the risk of a woman without a family history.
If you are wondering about your breast cancer risk, you also need to look at the medical history of your male relatives. Breast cancer in a close male relative, such as a brother, father or uncle, increases your risk of breast cancer.
Other hormone-related cancers such as prostate cancer are also relevant. If your father or brother has prostate cancer, especially if it was diagnosed at a young age, then your risk for breast cancer increases.
Why do we give you this information? It is certainly not to scare you! We believe that if you know about your risks, you will be aware of the need for the regular screening which could save your life. #knowledgeispower
–> If you would like to read an academic paper on familial risks, we can recommend this one.