Today marks the start of National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week. If you think you may be at risk for HBOC, FORCE has a great FAQ resource page here to help you get started.
As I’ve said before, testing positive for a BRCA mutation does not mean you need to have surgery. It does not mean you will get cancer. It does mean that you can receive annual screenings that will be covered by insurance and could save your life.
Below, check red flags that you may be a BRCA carrier. If these red flags sound familiar to you, please consider speaking with a geneticist about getting a BRCA test. It is a simple saliva swab test and the results can empower you to get the screenings you need to prevent cancer.
8 RED FLAGS THAT INDICATE A POSSIBLE BRCA MUTATION
(via Pink Lotus Breast Center)
1 – 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree relatives – from maternal or paternal sides – with breast cancer before age 50 or ovarian cancer at any age;
2- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (Ashkenazis are Eastern European Jewish from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia, as opposed to the Sephardic Jewish population primarily from Spain, parts of France, Italy, and North Africa);
3- Any male relative with breast cancer;
4- Any relative who is a known BRCA mutation carrier (the child of a carrier has a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation);
5- Breast cancer in self prior to age 50;
6- Two breast cancers in self, any age;
7- “Triple negative” breast cancer in self;
8- Two or more family members with breast, ovarian, pancreas, prostate, melanoma, uterine, colon, and stomach cancers (this flag also captures possible non-BRCA inherited genetic mutations associated with breast or ovarian cancer).