Should I get checked?

‘Two of my family members have had breast cancer and I am really worried that I am at higher risk or may have faulty genes. What should I do?’

If you have two or three family members who have had breast cancer or are worried in any way, see your GP. They will assess your risk and refer you onto a family history breast unit who can assess you to see if they should do genetic tests. There are a few genes which, if faulty, can increase your risk of developing breast cancer; BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53 and PTEN. Every woman has a 10% chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime even if you do not have a faulty gene. If you have a faulty gene, you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but it does not mean you will. Breast specialists can advise you and help you if you test positive. We can all keep a healthy weight, exercise and stop smoking to help reduce our risk of cancers.

Dr Radha Modgil

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