How can family history affect my risk of developing breast cancer?

Dr. Deanna J. Attai, MD

Having a family history of breast cancer, especially if the relatives were at a younger age, can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, a family history of other cancers, such as ovarian cancer, may be a red flag indicating that your family may carry one of the abnormal gene mutations that predispose to cancer.

Knowing your family history is very important for risk assessment. People should know their family history going back 2 to 3 generations, including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents. It's important to know the family history on both the mother's and father's side.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.