Heredity Question

Hi Warriors,

I am new here and do not have Breast Cancer.  I have a lump, have had it mammogrammed for a few years now yearly.  Each year at these mammograms, it does not show up on the mammogram but it does show up in the ultrasound.. each year they ask if I have a family history, I say no and they say "see you again in a year".   (Once I did have it fine needle biopsied and had some anomalies but the testing never went further).  

This winter, on holidays to Canada, I spoke with an Aunt that said "did you get the information of our family breast cancer history?"  I said "what, NO? I haven't heard there is history" well a long story short, my Dad's Mother did not have it.. but my Dad's Mother's SISTERs had breast cancer and so did their daughters (pre-40).

So my question is 1) is this history relevant?  2) If it is, should I go back to the mammogram with the new information or just wait til my yearly appointment (only a few months away anyways).   

My Dad said he didn't mention it because it was not a direct line of illness.

Hope that makes sense. Thanks for your opinions.  


  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,385
    Hi Suzie, I would mention your grandmothers sibling history to your doctors and even go somewhere else to get mammogram and ultrasounds. No radiographer is infallible and I would be looking for second opinions just to be properly sure. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,727
    Cancer can pop up with no family history. Some anomalies may be potentially precancerous cells, slow moving at that. In which case monitoring may be a very sensible way to go as nothing may ever happen. But you are asking the question so the thought is lingering. A second opinion is always an option. At very least get a bit more information about what it is, which may be fully benign. Best wishes. 
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,340
    Hi SuziBGood,

    You have asked a great question, please see BCNA information below. 
    Family history and hereditary breast cancer
    Speak with your medical practitioner regarding the new information you have regarding your family history.
    You may also like to call our helpline on 1800 500 258 and speak with one of our nurses.

    regards Giovanna
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,295
    edited October 2017
    I saw a genetic counsellor as my father had 3 sisters who had ovarian cancer and one of those also had 2 primary breast cancers. The belief was my grandmother also had ovarian cancer...but she was never formally diagnosed. Those sister had daughters that went on to develop ovarian cancer. 

    First thing is to draw the tree and map out who had what. If your grandmother had a gene there is a 50% possibility your father inherited it. If he is have a 50% chance of inheriting  it. If the faulty gene was from your grandfather's side the chance remains at 50%. Just to confuse it of course is even if you inherit the gene it doesn't mean you will go on to develop cancer.

    I had gene testing against my scottish family because of the known BRAC1 risk. Ideally if my father had still been alive he would have been tested. As he wasn't all his children have been and we now know his children did not inherit the gene. Great news for my children and nieces and nephews.

    My sister from another father had breast cancer and her daughter also. They were gene tested and found to be negative. However as new genes are discovered they will be retested and if positive to one I will be also retested.

    At this stage it is just considered I am an unlucky 1 in 8 or have an as yet unidentified genetic risk. However the genetics team recommended all 5 other sisters seek  the expertise of a breast surgeon to review breast density and develop an appropriate schedule to aide detection. This might involve breast MRIs every 2 years. My cancer was invisible in mammogram 5 weeks prior developing a palpable lump. 

    So I recommend you talk to your GP and have a referral to a breast surgeon and a genetic specialist for advise. If nothing more they can assist in allying fears.  

    Kath x
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,172
    Hi @SuzyBGood. I don't have any increased risk, but I've recently read a book by Krystal Barter, the founder or an Australian organisation called Pink Hope ( She founded this organisation to offer support to those who have, or may have an inherited gene fault. Krystal herself has quite an incredible story. I haven't had a good look at the site, but from the way her book has been written, I would say the information would be trustworthy. 
    Take care
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,396
    Hi @SuzyBGood I think its all relevant, the fact that you have been getting regular checks mammos and ultrasound won't make any difference to the history, sounds like they are right on top of it all. I started mammos in my late 30's as my Mum had BC at 40 thing is I was fine for years then 5yrs into checkups bang...I got BC at 43 and a recurrence at 47. I ended up being genetically tested but was negative. So BC is only 5% hereditary the rest is random, my BC had nothing to do with my Mum. Certainly give them the information it just means that they will monitor you closely which they already are and possibly recommend genetic testing. Hugs Melinda xo
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