DAD’S HISTORY AS WELL AS MOM’S IS IMPORTANT IN TEASING OUT BREAST CANCER RISK, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Most women know about breast or ovarian cancer on their mother’s side of the family, but if the disease is found on the father’s side it’s just as important in predicting risk. Yet clinicians refer patients five times more often for genetic testing when the disease is found on Mom’s side, a study reported in the Lancet found. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
PARK: When one it taking a family history you really have to dig another layer deeper particularly on the father’s side because on the mom’s side you presume, well she was at risk because since she’s a woman. So these are lessons that are learned, sometimes unfortunately the hard way, that I think a study like this really points to the fact that there are instances of familial cases of breast cancer where genetics play a strong role and yet, we’re missing them because maybe we’re not thinking about the fact that paternal transmission from generation to generation can actually make a huge difference. :30
So know Dad’s history as well as Mom’s to assess your risk of breast or ovarian cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.