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Family History Of Breast Cancer On Father's Side

Family History Of Breast Cancer On Father's Side

Question

Does family history of breast cancer on my father's side put me at risk for cancer?

Answer

Jill Stopher, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor at Penn Medicine, responds:

Even though breast cancer mostly affects women, risk for breast cancer can be passed down from both your mother and your father's side of the family. There are a number of different genetic conditions that can predispose to breast cancer, so knowing the details of your mother's and father's side can help sort out what your personal risk may be for breast cancer, and whether special screening or possibly genetic testing may be helpful for your family. We all get half our genes from our mother, and half our genes from our father - so yes, father's side definitely counts.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Gynecologic Cancers transcript.