Talk with a Doctor If Breast or Ovarian Cancer Runs in Your Family
The Basics: Overview
If your family has a history of breast or ovarian cancer, talk with your doctor or nurse about it. You may be at higher risk for developing these and other types of cancer.
Talk with your doctor about genetic counseling and testing.
Genetic counseling and genetic testing can help you understand your risk for certain types of cancer that can run in families.
Doctors don’t recommend genetic testing for all women, but you may want to talk about it with your doctor if you have a family member who had:
- Breast cancer before age 50
- Cancer in both breasts
- Both breast and ovarian cancer
You may also want to talk with your doctor about genetic testing if you have:
- A male family member who had breast cancer
- Two or more family members who had breast or ovarian cancer
- Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish heritage
Genetic testing can’t tell you if you will get cancer or not, but it can show if you have a genetic change that puts you at higher risk. If so, you and your doctor can discuss options for managing your risk.