Kristen Hartland
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Does mother’s breast cancer mean daughter will get it?

May 10th, 2011 . by admin

My mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s the first one in her family who has ever gotten it. I’m healthy, 29, and receive regular check-ups. Am I at increased risk because of my mother?

Hereditary breast cancer, like all hereditary cancers, is extremely rare. I’m assuming your mother is over 50 years old. If she had developed cancer at a much earlier age, this might–and only might–indicate some sort of genetic predisposition in your family.

The fact that only one member of your family (your mother) has been diagnosed with the disease indicates it is probably not hereditary. Even if it was, the only way to determine this for certain would be through genetic testing, which is not indicated in your current situation.

Still, it’s a good idea that you continue with your regular check-ups and start having yearly mammograms when you are ten years younger than your mother was when her cancer was initially detected.

3 Responses to “Does mother’s breast cancer mean daughter will get it?”

  1. comment number 1 by: rxgirl312

    To be honest, I heard it skips a generation. You’re less likely to get it than if your grandmother had it.
    References :
    Mom works in breast cancer research.

  2. comment number 2 by: lo_mcg

    Like all other types of cancer, breast cancer is rarely hereditary; only 5 – 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary, and they are due to a rare inherited faulty gene.

    Breast cancer diagnosed after the age of 50 is even less likely to be hereditary.

    A sign that breast cancer might (only might) be hereditary is when several members of the same side of a family have had it, especially if some developed it at a younger than usual age. In those circumstances, genetic testing to establish whether one of the rare faulty genes is present might be considered appropriate.

    You are almost certainly not at increased risk if your mother is the only family member who has had breast cancer; but as the daughter of a woman who has had breast cancer you will be treated as at increased risk as a precaution. Your routine mammograms should start when you are ten years younger than your mother was at diagnosis if that age comes before 40, when routine mammograms start.

    Where breast cancer is hereditary, there is no pattern of it skipping a generation; the faulty gene can only be passed from parent to child, and it’s a 50% possibility that it will be. Inheriting the gene doesn’t mean someone will definitely develop breast cancer.


    Yes, her age is important. Breast cancer diagnosed after 50 is even less likely to be hereditary. As she’s the only family member to have had breast cancer, you can be sure you’re not at increased risk.

    Best wishes to your mum for her treatment – and to you, it’s hard seeing someone you love go through this.

    For information about Breast cancer and a place to talk to other people who are going and have been through the same thing, you might both find htis site helpfu; I found online support forums so helpful in the days and weeks after diagnosis:
    References :
    Have had breast cancer – non-hereditary like 90-95% of breast cancers.

  3. comment number 3 by: ChemoAngel

    Not very likely. It’s not all about Genetics. I got Breast Cancer all on my own without any help from my family. Your mom’s diagnose is very good. Radiation will be a piece of cake for her. I had the same thing. 6 percent chance reoccurence is great, I am at 10 percent, and they still think it’s good.
    Relax. You have a long way to go to worry. Listen to your Gynecologist and let him tell you when you need your first mammogram. Then be Proactive with your health.
    References :

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