Genetic Risk Assessment

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment is a genetic education and testing service provided by Saint Francis Breast Center for individuals who have cancer or have cancer in their family. The program uses genetic information to assess the risk for developing breast cancer. An analysis of personal and family history helps individuals determine if they should have DNA testing to detect the breast cancer gene.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Cancer
Risk Assessment:

  1. What is my risk of breast cancer?
    Each year, more than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer and about 25,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed. Of those, 90 percent are spontaneous, meaning they occur in women who do not carry the inherited mutant gene. The 10 percent of women who have inherited the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene variation have up to an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 70.
  3. There are several cases of breast cancer in my family. Do we have a hereditary cancer gene that is passed through the generations?
    A family history of breast cancer, especially in women under the age of 50, as well as ovarian cancer at any age and male breast cancer, may be signs that a family has a hereditary predisposition to breast cancer. Hereditary breast cancer is the cause of tumors in one in ten women with breast cancer. If a parent is found to be positive with a breast cancer gene, there is a 50 percent chance the children will inherit that gene.

  4. Am I a candidate for genetic counseling?
    You and your family members may be candidates for genetic counseling if any of the following has occurred:
    • Premenopausal breast cancer in your extended family
    • Breast cancer before the age of 50 and/or ovarian cancer at any age
    • First-degree relative with breast cancer before the age of 50
    • History of male breast cancer at any age
    • Your risk for breast and ovarian cancer may also be heightened if you are of Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jewish heritage.
    • There are three specific mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that account for 90 percent of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in this population.
  5. What is the breast cancer risk assessment?
    Breast Cancer Risk Assessment starts with an evaluation of the risk of breast cancer in an individual by reviewing personal and family history. An analysis of these factors leads to risk assessment and identification of those individuals who should consider genetic testing.

  6. What is my risk of cancer if I have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation?
    If a woman has a breast cancer gene, she has up to an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer by age 70 and a 22 to 44 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer by age 70.

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

For more information about the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment service, or to schedule an appointment, call the Saint Francis Center for Genetics at 918-502-2280.