line of women varying in ages wearing pink ribbonsNearly a quarter-million women develop breast cancer every year but only about 3% of cases are linked to genetic mutations that were inherited. Genetic testing can uncover this risk but not every woman needs to be tested.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce a certain protein which is capable of suppressing tumors. If these genes are altered or mutated and the protein doesn’t do its work these genetic alterations can result in the growth of cancer.

You can inherit breast cancer from your mother and father and relatives on both sides, including grandparents, uncles and aunts. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you have a higher risk of getting breast cancer but most women with a family history do not have an inherited gene mutation.

Based on your family history and other factors, your doctor might suggest speaking with a genetic counselor. Genetic testing may be called for if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age, especially if you have triple-negative breast cancer or if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer a second time that’s not a recurrence of the first cancer.

Once you reach 30 years of age, you should evaluate your risk of developing breast cancer.  Knowing your family history of cancer and determining if there’s any genetic risk factors along with performing monthly breast self-examinations and having yearly mammograms are important steps in safeguarding yourself against breast cancer.

Schedule a clinical breast exam or contact us for any questions. 

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax