Hereditary breast cancer

Approximately 5–10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary according to our current understanding. Hereditary breast cancer should be suspected if a family has a high rate of breast cancer or ovarian cancer or the patient herself is young, less than 30 years of age, at the time of diagnosis. If hereditary cancer is suspected, the patient is referred to a clinical geneticist for consultation and possibly genetic testing to investigate heredity.

If hereditary breast cancer is diagnosed, magnetic resonance imaging is done annually to check for possible disease recurrence. Patients also have the option to have their breasts or ovaries removed in order to reduce their risk.