Family History

Of all women with breast cancer, around 1:20 women will have a family history of breast cancer. 1:9 develop breast cancer at some point.

Genetic Breast Cancer is rare - less than 1:20 of the ladies we see diagnosed with breast cancer will have a significant family history. It is more likely if the family members were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age

Generally, a family history that may suggest a genetic link means having:

  • two close family members (including for example- mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, aunt) diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50
  • or three close family members under 60
  •  or four close family members of any age 

Other factors that are considered in determining a family history are cases of male breast cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer in both breasts and having Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

The most well-known breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. 

If you are worried about your family history you should see your GP.

If your GP feels you may have a family history, they may refer you to a genetics clinic or family history clinic for specialist care

We will ask you to complete a questionnaire and return it within 21 days, once returned we will send you an appointment to come into our clinic to discuss your family history

For more information visit Breast Cancer Now's website here


Breast Care Nurse

Nicola Holland




Rebecca Laxton


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