What is Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer?
Many people, both women and men, may, unknowingly, carry a change (mutation) in one or several of their genes that confer a heightened risk of cancer of the breast or ovary. This same mutation can also increase the risk for cancer of the prostate, pancreas, and skin. This risk can not only affect oneself but can be passed on to one’s children. Other family members (siblings, cousins, parents) may be carrying this gene, as well.
Is this the gene that Angelina Jolie made more famous?
Yes. She and her family carry a mutation on the BRCA genes. Ms. Jolie underwent a life-saving double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes. She understood her risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer was up to 87% and the risk for oftentimes fatal ovarian cancer was up to 60%.
How can one tell if you have this mutation?
First, you need to consider your and your family’s history. Are there many members of your family that have cancer, were they relatively young when diagnosed, are these cancers the types that are not usually common – such as ovarian or pancreatic cancer?
Have a conversation with your Doctor. Ideally, your Doctor should always ask about your personal and family history of cancer. If the history is concerning, your Doctor can provide you with the appropriate counseling and genetic testing options.
How can Dr. Kurss and his team at the Women’s Wellness Center of WNY be of help?
We screen for these conditions at every visit and have been doing so for decades. Additionally, we provide complete counseling and genetic testing, right in our office.
Dr. Kurss was the first private practice physician in WNY to offer genetic screening panel testing to his at risk patients, – another first at the Women’s Wellness Center of WNY.
Please come in for this very important potentially life-saving genetic screening.
CALL 716-688-0500 for your appointment now.