Families affected by a hereditary cancer syndrome may have certain patterns of cancer diagnoses among relatives.
Family health history can help assess a person’s risk for hereditary cancers and other inherited diseases.
You should consider meeting with a genetic counselor for a cancer risk assessment if you find one or more of the following in your family health history:
- Two or more closely related individuals with breast cancer, diagnosed at any age
- Cancer diagnosed at young ages (before 50)
- Multiple cancer diagnoses in one individual (e.g. breast and ovarian, bilateral breast cancer)
- Individuals affected in multiple generations (e.g. grandfather, mother and aunt)
- Rare cancers, such as ovarian cancer or male breast cancer
- Two or more family members with the same type of cancer (e.g. breast, ovarian, prostate, uterine, colon or stomach cancers)
- Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry