If My Mother Or Sister Had Breast Cancer, Does That Mean I Will Probably Get Breast Cancer Too?

Question: If my mother or sister had breast cancer, does that mean I will probably get breast cancer too?

Answer:Many, many women are worried about that. If you have a mom or sister diagnosed with breast cancer, then your risk is greater than when you don't have a mom or sister with breast cancer.

It's important to look at the whole family history as well as just one individual with breast cancer in your family to get a clearer picture of what your risk is. Women who have multiple family members may have one of these inherited mutations that puts them at significantly increased risk.

In general, if you have one first-degree relative with breast cancer, your risk may be two or three times greater than the general population.

But other factors come into play and we can get a little more specific about risk estimates if you know how old that individual was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and other factors that go along with it. So it's helpful to try and clarify for individuals what their risk may be.

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