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Identify other genes before preventive measures?

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Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from CHodnet: I was diagnosed at 39. An aunt and several cousins on my maternal side were also diagnosed young, several premenopausal. I tested negative for BRCA, but the counselor said there could be an undetected genetic component, and it was cost prohibitive to test for every possibility. What measures should I consider (prophylactic ovary/breast removal) without knowing if there is a genetic component?
Answers - Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. We do see quite a number of families that have features of a hereditary syndrome, particularly young ages of diagnosis as in your family, and there is a limitation to the current research. But chances are good that in the future, we will identify other genes that may be the cause of the cancers in your family. Until that time, the decision for medical management such as ovary removal is best made with a trusted doctor.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference Breast Cancer Risk and Your Family featured Terri McHugh, D.O., and Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. answering your questions about genetics and breast cancer, and how your family could be affected.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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