Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer

Genetic testing for cancer susceptibility is an important area of medicine. We are committed to cancer prevention, early detection and improved disease management. Our Center is equipped with the tools to facilitate proper patient identification and risk assessment.

Our Center provides education on genetic testing, performs the testing as well as provides resources and personnel that assist with family testing.

All breast cancer patients should consider genetic testing at the time of their initial breast cancer diagnosis. This information may change our recommendations for you and may decrease the risk of you developing additional disease in the future.


Young patients with germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and the many other newly discovered breast cancer genes, have a higher risk of developing ipsilateral and contralateral second primary tumors than women with sporadic breast cancer. Therefore, knowing the mutation status of women diagnosed with breast cancer is essential to providing mutation-positive women with appropriate medical management options that may significantly reduce the risk of future breast cancer diagnosis.

Consider testing if you meet any of the following criteria:

  1. You have breast cancer or ovarian cancer and you have:
      • One or more first-degree relatives (mother, father, sister, daughter) or second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, grandmother, niece, granddaughter) with breast cancer before age 50
      • One or more first or second degree relatives with ovarian cancer
      • One or more first or second degree relatives with male breast cancer
  2. You have a personal history of any of the following:
      • Breast cancer at any age
      • Ovarian cancer at any age
      • Male breast cancer at any age
      • Bilateral breast cancer
      • Both breast and ovarian cancer
  3. You have no known disease, however you have a family member with a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
  4. You have a family history of any of the following:
      • Male breast cancer
      • Ovarian cancer
      • Pancreatic cancer
      • Genetic alteration
  5. You had previous normal BRCA1, 2 testing
  6. You are of Ashkenazi Jewish decent and have breast cancer or ovarian cancer

Identification of a genetic alteration provides awareness of a patient’s risk for other cancers. For example, in the BRCA1, 2 population these patients are at increased risk for ovarian cancer. Knowing that you are at increased risk for the development of certain cancers allows the patient to obtain increased surveillance in the areas of risk and prevent the cancers.