Family History of Breast Cancer

Jill E. Stopfer
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Question
I have a strong family history of breast cancer in my family. My maternal grandmother had it, as did all three of her daughters, one of which is my mother. One of her daughters died from it, the other two, including my mother are still living. My grandmother is also still living. I am the only daughter out of the three daughters that have had cancer, and so of course I'm very worried about my chances to get it. We are all very willing to be a part of a study or research or anything that could further help your study of this terrible disease.  
Thank you.


Answer
Jill E. Stopfer, MS Certified Genetic Counselor for the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Risk Evaluation Programs, responds:

Regarding your desire to be involved in a research project—You will need to find a a cancer genetics program in your area. You may use the NCI database. In preparing for your evaluation, you will want to try to find out as much as you can about who has had any type of cancer in her family, and also get information about their ages at the time of diagnosis. Many programs also try to collect pathology reports on all those affected with cancer, so asking where the relative with cancer had their cancer surgery is also helpful.



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