What is the hereditary breast cancer?
In the general population approximately 1 in 8 or 12.5% of women will develop breast cancer. There are several factors which determine a woman’s risk of breast cancer which include: hormonal factors, age, lifestyle choices, family history, and inherited genetic mutations. By assessing these factors it is possible to estimate whether a woman has an increased risk of breast cancer. Women with an estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer over 17% have an increased
risk of breast cancer and are usually offered increased breast screening.
Women at increased risk of hereditary breast cancer have several options.
- Increased breast cancer screening (risk >17%): usually with mammograms but possibly also with breast MRI
- Risk reducing surgery (mastectomy) for those at high risk (risk > 30%)
- Medication to lower the risk of breast cancer, known as chemoprevention (risk at least 17%)