Although most cancers are not hereditary, some cases do involve an inherited risk for a specific cancer. Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which normally help to prevent cancer by telling DNA to instruct cells not to grow abnormally. However, some individuals inherit a mutation in one of these genes, possibly resulting in the DNA allowing cells to grow abnormally.
Less than 10% of people diagnosed with cancer have a genetic mutation. However, by knowing your risk factors, and knowing your family's cancer history, you may benefit from consulting with a genetic counselor to consider genetic testing.
The Women's Cancer Program can help patients determine their genetic risk for cancer. For more information, click the links below.