The Center for Cancer Risk Reduction and Genetics at Texas Health Resources was developed to empower you with knowledge to make the best decisions for your health.
Breast cancer can target anyone. Understand your risk by taking our free online survey, which looks at personal and family history.
Common risk factors include:
Strong family history of breast cancer
History of abnormal breast biopsy
Prior history of chest radiation treatment
Personal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer
Known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carrier or family member with known mutation
Family history of male with breast cancer
If you are determined to be at higher risk, you will be given the opportunity to schedule an appointment with an experienced nurse practitioner who has advanced training in breast cancer risk assessment. The nurse practitioner will review your risk and discuss breast cancer prevention strategies, potential genetic testing and answer common questions.
The program also provides access to advanced screening technology that could find potential breast cancers at the earliest stages when it is most treatable.
Genes are "nature's blueprints for every living thing," according to the National Cancer Institute. When a gene with a mistake is passed along in family members, it is called an inherited altered gene. Gene alterations have been found in many families with a history of breast cancer, and some women in these families have also had ovarian cancer.
These alterations are most often found in genes named BRCA1 and BRCA2. According to the American Cancer Society, women with an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have up to an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer during their lifetimes, and at a younger age than those women who are not born with one of these gene mutations.