This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Learn More About Hereditary Cancer Testing

With all the attention given to breast cancer awareness—from 5k races that draw thousands to NFL players wearing bright pink cleats and gloves during games that millions watch—there’s still a lot of critical information that doesn’t reach the people who need it most.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so now is the perfect time to take a proactive approach and learn more about hereditary cancer risks.

Did you know?

A recent study and editorial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology12 estimates that in the US:

  • More than one million breast cancer survivors are at risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC), but have not been tested
  • Up to ten million women who have not had cancer are at risk for HBOC, but have not been tested
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 breast and ovarian cancer survivors meeting current evidence-based testing guidelines have had a conversation with any healthcare provider about their risk.

If no preventive measures are taken, patients with inherited mutations are at much greater risk for developing cancer—up to 82% for breast and colon cancer. The good news is that with the sophisticated genetic testing available today, patients and clinicians can work together to manage risk and impact outcomes.

The screening questions below are used to determine risk factors for HBOC:

  1. Have you, or your sister, mother, daughter, aunt, niece or grandmother, been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 or younger?
  2. Have you, or your sister, mother, daughter, aunt, niece or grandmother, been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 or younger, with another relative with ovarian cancer?
  3. Have you, or your sister, mother, daughter, aunt, niece or grandmother, been diagnosed with breast cancer at any age, with another relative diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 or younger?
  4. Have you, or your sister, mother, aunt, niece or grandmother, been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at any age?

If you answered “Yes” to any question, speak with your clinician about genetic testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome.

For more information about hereditary cancer testing, connect with True Health’s Medical Services and Genetic Counseling experts: 1.877.494.0030.

Follow True Health:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

1 Hughes KS, et al., Genetic Testing: What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?  J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 18 [Epub ahead of print.]

2 Childers, CP, et al., National Estimates of Genetic Testing in Women With a History of Breast or Ovarian Cancers.  J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 18 [Epub ahead of print.]

3 Kuchenbaecker KB, et al. Risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. JAMA. 2017; 317(23):2402-2416.

4 King MC, et al. Breast and ovarian cancer risks due to inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. Science. 2003;302(5645):643-6. 3. Kohlmann W, et al. Lynch Syndrome. GeneReviews, 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1211/.