Your risk of developing breast cancer and other cancers could be connected to your family tree. Approximately, five-10% of all breast cancers are due to a genetic mutation.

Knowing that you have an inherited condition may give you options for early treatment and help you manage your health.

Mercy Health is now accepting patients with a personal or family history of breast cancer for its high-risk breast cancer clinic. Patients who meet the following criteria should consider having genetic testing for breast cancer:

  • Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer younger than 45-50 years old
  • Women with breast cancer and who have first degree relatives with breast cancers
  • Women who have multiple relatives in the same lineage with breast cancer
  • Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts at the same time 
  • Women with recurring breast cancer
  • Women who have a family history of ovarian cancer
  • Women with men in their family with breast cancer
  • Men who have breast cancer 
  • Women with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and diagnosed breast cancer 

“The BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene predisposes women to breast and ovarian cancer,” says surgeon and high-risk clinic director Pamela Bucklew-Wilder, MD, FACS. “In general, about 12% of women, or one in eight, will develop breast cancer in their lives. However, women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer that is as high as 80%.”

“There are no risks associated with genetic testing. The benefit of testing is knowing if you have the gene. If you do, you’ve inherited it from your mom or dad. You had the same 50% of getting the gene as you do of passing it on to your offspring, male or female,” she adds. “Women who have not gone through genetic testing but have a first degree relative with the gene will likely qualify for high risk screening. Another benefit of testing is knowing your risk for developing ovarian cancer, which is also associated with the same gene.”

Mercy Health also offers genetic testing for patients with a personal or family history of ovarian, colorectal, uterine and/or other cancers. 

Should you learn that you have an inherited condition, Mercy Health will work with you and your care team on treatment options and surveillance programs.

The high-risk clinic is located at Mercy Health - Springfield & Urbana General & Laparoscopic Surgery, 30 W. McCreight Ave., Suite 106, Springfield, OH 45504. For more information, please call 937-523-9820.