Women with close relatives diagnosed with breast cancer may be more at risk, although it is important to bear in mind that only around 5% of breast cancers are family history related. If you are concerned about a family history of breast cancer you should discuss this with your GP. Take as much information as you can about your blood relatives on both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family who have had a cancer diagnosis.
For each family member who has had cancer your GP needs to know:
- What relation they are to you and to each other
- Which cancer they had
- How old they were when they had it
- If they are still alive, or when they died
If they feel that your family history is significant they will refer you to a family history clinic/cancer genetics centre for further assessment. They can arrange regular surveillance for you, even if you are younger than the screening age and can also involve genetics testing if appropriate.