- Dr. James Vopal
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The Breast Care Center of the Treasure Coast
801 Osceola Street
Stuart, FL 34994
Phone: (772) 220-4050
Fax: (772) 220-0502
Family history of breast cancer
More than 75 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. However, if you do have a first-degree relative, such as your mother, sister or daughter, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk of developing it doubles. The risk is higher if this immediate relative was diagnosed with breast cancer prior to going through menopause and the cancer was found in both breasts. In addition, if you have two first-degree relatives with breast cancer, your chances of developing the disease are five times higher. Having a male first-degree relative, such as a brother or father, with breast cancer also increases your risk.
Just because you have a higher risk of developing breast cancer does not mean that you will get the disease. But it is prudent to visit your doctor more frequently for exams, mammograms and possibly other forms of screening including MRI or ultrasound of the breast if you have a family history of the condition. Your doctor may recommend testing for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which are both associated with familial cases of breast cancer. In some cases, prophylactic surgery to remove the breasts will be considered if your risk is exceptionally high.