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A strong family history of breast cancer (multiple first or second degree relatives diagnosed with the disease, particularly at young ages, bilateral disease, male breast cancers, etc.) confers an increased risk of developing the disease. Some particularly strong family histories of breast and ovarian cancer have been associated with inherited mutations in the "breast cancer genes" BRCA1 and BRCA2.
For women who have a strong family history and/or for women who have a personal history of breast cancer diagnosed at a young age, identifying a BRCA gene mutation through genetic testing can have a major impact on how they manage their health. Genetic counseling and BRCA gene testing are available at the center as part of the Wasserman Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program. Our genetic counselors keep team members up-to-date on the latest genetic discoveries. Through genetic counseling and testing, we hope to identify high-risk patients and prevent them from becoming cancer patients.
Discussing genetic counseling options for patients is part of our weekly multidisciplinary case review meeting.