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Genes, not family, up breast cancer link

Oct. 28, 2012 at 1:35 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Five percent to 10 percent of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, but women with these gene abnormalities have higher cancer risk, a U.S. surgeon said.

Dr. David Euhus, a surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said women with the BRCA genes might have as much as an 80 percent risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes.

"Knowing that you carry a mutation in one of the BRCA genes opens up numerous options for early diagnosis and cancer prevention," Euhus said in a statement. "If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer recently, this information is critical for making treatment decisions."

Euhus offered a checklist to help individuals decide whether they should consider genetic testing for breast cancer:

-- Three or more blood relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with breast cancer.

-- A family history of ovarian cancer.

-- A relative on either side of the family diagnosed with breast cancer before age 45.

-- Being of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

-- A family member who had triple negative breast cancer before age 60.

-- Any male in the family who has had breast cancer.

-- Female relatives who have had cancer in both breasts.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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