• enu's Avatar


    Asked by enu on Monday, June 3, 2013


    what if you family member like my mother have been on breast cancer is it possible that the cancer will get to me or not thank you

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      You are at a slightly higher risk, but it does not mean that you will develop breast cancer. You should start screenings 10 years younger than your mother was Dx......

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1 (Best Answer!)

      As Karen said, you are at a slightly higher risk - speak with you gyn about what precautions you can take, like earlier screen. A complete family health profile would be very helpful in what next steps you should take. If you have aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc who have had cancer, you may want to speak to a geneticists about screening for mutations. I have cancer but neither of parents or sibs have had it. 2 of my mom's sisters had breast cancer, one of them in her late 30s, she lived to be 94 and died 2 months after being diagnosed pancreatic cancer. My other aunt lived to be 88, both her daughters had breast cancer too (they are fine and in the late 70s). I was tested for BRCA1 & BRAC2 and well as having a BreastNext panel to test for other mutations. I came up negative on all fronts.

      The bottom line is, there is no definitive way to predict who will and who won't get cancer. As my cousin who is the head of a mammography department said when I was diagnosed "cancer is a tricky devil, the more we learn about, the more we realize how much we don't know"

      Good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      To be clear: cancer is not contagious. You cannot catch it from your mother. However, her having breast cancer means that you may be at a higher risk for developing it.

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear enu,

      It's a little difficult from the way you state your question to say whether you think cancer is contagious, for example, whether you'd catch it from your mother or whether you'd have a higher chance of getting it because she had/has it. Cancer is not a contagious illness.

      I'm Aliza, A BC patient, the unofficial resident Medical Librarian for the site, and I can tell you as others have that if your mom had BC, you have a slightly higher chance of getting it, however you might want to consider doing what Angelina Jolie just did and getting tested for the BRACA gene-that might give you a much clearer idea of what to expect. The news, as Angelina found out, may not be what you want to hear, but at least that way, you have the option of protecting yourself and Angelina just looked wonderful on the red carpet!!

      I wish you good luck no matter what choice you make.

      Warm wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      It's possible for anyone to get breast cancer, regardless of family history.

      over 3 years ago

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