BRCA1, familial breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility 1


What kind of family history is suspicious for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome?

Families that have multiple diagnoses of breast and/or ovarian cancers may have Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome due to a change in the BRCA1 gene. Pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer are also found in families with BRCA1 gene mutations. Cancer diagnoses tend to occur at younger ages in individuals with a BRCA1 gene change. A diagnosis of breast cancer under age 50 is considered to be younger than expected in the general population. A diagnosis of breast cancer in a male, individuals with multiple BRCA1-associated cancers, and cancer in multiple generations on the same side of the family also increase the suspicion that there could be a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.

A genetic counselor can review a family history of cancer and help someone understand if their family may have a gene change causing HBOC. Genetic counselors in the United States can be found on the National Society of Genetic Counselors website. Genetic counselors in Canada can be found at the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors website.

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