Breast cancer survivors are often concerned about the health of their family members. This is a valid concern since their family members, especially their sisters, daughters and mothers, have an increased risk of getting breast cancer.
In general, the younger a woman is when she gets breast cancer, the more likely that another member of her family will get it, too. The risk tends to be highest in families where two or more immediate family members (mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son) have had breast and/or ovarian cancer . In these families, the history of breast cancer is often due to a genetic factor. A genetic risk for breast cancer can also be passed through the father's side of the family, so relatives on both sides should know about their family history and risks. Members of these families may want to think about getting tested for mutations in genes linked to breast cancer. Testing raises many complex issues that families and individuals should consider carefully with the help of a genetic counselor. The person who had breast cancer should be tested first. If this person does not have a genetic mutation, there is no need for other family members to be tested.. For more information log on to 1011 the Beat.com