Guide to Understanding Genetics and Family Risk

2016, 2nd Edition
By: 
Nicole Katze, MA
Reviewed By: 

Our Guide to Understanding Geneticsinfo-icon and Family Risk offers clear information on how inheritedinfo-icon geneinfo-icon mutations are passed down through families and how patterns in family health histories may suggest an inherited gene mutationinfo-icon is present. If you come from a family with a strong history of breast or ovarian cancerinfo-icon, are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent or were diagnosed very young, this guide may help you decide whether to seek genetic testinginfo-icon.

This guide explains what to expect from meeting with a geneticinfo-icon counselor and how the genetic testing process works. Learn how the tests are performed, what results are possible, and how the different results may impact your treatment, family and emotions.

Though you may already have breast cancer, learning an inherited gene mutation runs in your family may give you and your doctors a greater understanding of your risk for developing a second breast cancer, or ovarian cancer. Identifying a gene mutation in your family can also help your family members — both men and women — take preventiveinfo-icon action to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer themselves.

This guide was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number 1 U58 DP005403, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventioninfo-icon. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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