Every Mother’s Day, we stop and take a moment to thank our mothers for their love and support. We discuss characteristics and mannerisms we inherited from them. Did we get our eye or hair color from our moms? What about hair color or height? What we normally don’t talk about is whether we inherited any genetic mutations. Mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 can be passed down through families, and when inherited, cause an increased risk of certain cancers.
Why is this information important?
Knowing if you inherited these genetic mutations may help explain why you or certain family members may have developed cancer. They also can inform you if you are at an increased risk of developing certain cancers. When armed with this information you and your healthcare provider can develop a plan for increase screenings for prevention or early detection.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, this information can guide your doctor to what treatments options are best for you. It may also indicate eligibility for certain clinical trials.
Should I be tested for these genetic mutations?
Knowing your personal and family history of cancer is the first step in determining if you might be at increased risk for cancer.
Click below to see if you should pursue genetic testing by answering a few questions about your personal or family history of cancer.