Did you know that 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary? In these cases, the cancer is caused by an abnormal gene passed down from generation to generation. So, it’s the gene that’s inherited, not the cancer itself.
At Wiregrass Surgical, we offer surgical procedures for patients diagnosed with cancer, as well as cancer risk assessments to help prevent and bring awareness to those with a hereditary risk of cancer.
The results of the assessment give patients information that could save their life or the life of a family member.
Today we want to talk about the hereditary cancer test we can offer for breast cancer, and how it can help you understand your breast cancer risk profile…
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, and there are over 250,000 cases a year.
Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer can be due to a combination of factors including your sex (being a woman), and age (over age 50). Most breast cancers are found in women over 50 years of age, however we see many younger women in their 30s and 40s with breast cancer as well.
Some women will get breast cancer without any risk factors, and on the flip side, having risk factors does not necessarily mean you will get breast cancer. However, it is always best to talk with your doctor about ways to lower your risk and ask about screening options.
Risk Factors You Can’t Change
Risk factors you cannot change that increase your chances of getting breast cancer include:
- Age. The risk for breast cancer increases with age and most women are diagnosed after age 50.
- Genetics. Women who have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Breast tissue. Having dense breasts can make it hard to see tumors on a mammogram, making it more likely to get breast cancer.
- Reproductive history. Starting your menstrual periods before age 12, or menopause after age 55, exposes women to hormones longer, increasing their risk of getting breast cancer.
- Family history of breast cancer or non-cancerous breast diseases. A woman’s risk increases if she has a mother, sister or daughter, or multiple family members on her mother or father’s side who have had breast or ovarian cancer.
- Exposure to radiation. Women who have had radiation therapy to the chest or breasts before age 30 have a higher risk of getting breast cancer later in life.
- Exposure to the drug diethystilbestrol (DES)
MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Test
Wiregrass Surgical offers the MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Test that can determine your inherited risk of developing 11 different types of cancer including:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Colorectal cancer and more
The Myriad Genetics MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Test is a hereditary cancer test that blends genetic test status and personal family history, to produce a personalized hereditary cancer panel.
By understanding your cancer risks you can identify cancer at earlier stages, giving you a better chance to treat and prevent secondary cancer as well. The MyRisk test is available for both men and women and is done in our office by collecting a blood or saliva sample from the patient using a special kit which is shipped out to testing facilities for analysis.
Your results will be available within 4-6 weeks and our doctors can help give you valuable information to help understand your risks, prevent cancer and help identify cancer if it does arise, earlier.
It is important to schedule yearly wellness visits with your general practitioner as well as to stay on top of important cancer screenings.
Wiregrass Surgical offers a personalized assessment, as well as the genetic test.
Learn more about how Wiregrass Surgical diagnoses, treats and manages breast cancer.