NCCN guidelines for genetic testing


Almost 25% of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease and, those who do have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Table 1

Almost 25% of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease, and women with an affected first-degree relative have a 1.75-fold higher risk of developing cancer.That risk increases to 2.5-fold with two or more affected first-degree relatives. Multiple genes have been identified that are associated with breast cancer. While BRCA1 and BRCA2 have received much attention as they are linked to 20% to 25% of hereditary breast cancers and 5% to 10% of all breast cancers, 6 genetic testing has expanded to include 28 genes. The above table presents the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for genetic testing. Genetic counselors can be a good referral source, should there be a need for genetic testing. If no genetic counselor is available in your area, then referral to a breast surgeon is appropriate to discuss family history as well as a patient’s lifetime risk of breast cancer and need for genetic testing.


For more information on breast health:

Optimizing breast health


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