The term “hereditary cancer syndrome” describes an inherited gene mutation that increases the chance to develop one or more types of cancer. For instance, the main hereditary breast cancer syndromes-caused by mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes-are also associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Testing is available to identify hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome. Signs of hereditary breast & ovarian cancer syndrome may include, but are not limited to:
- Breast cancer at age 45 or younger
- Breast cancer in both breasts in a woman at any age
- Both breast and ovarian cancer in the same woman
- Two or more family members with ovarian cancer and/or breast cancer, especially if the breast cancer was diagnosed at or before age 50
- At least one family member with breast cancer and one with ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer in men
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and ovarian cancer at any age or breast cancer before age 60
- A number of relatives on the same side of the family with breast or ovarian cancer and one of these cancers:
Identifying HBOC is important because there are effective medical options that can reduce the high risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer associated with this syndrome.
The video Making Informed Decisions: Testing & Management for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, created by Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc., is designed to answer common questions about HBOC syndrome testing and medical management options. In the video, you will meet several women who share their experiences with genetic testing and the use of genetic test results to make decisions regarding their healthcare, including genetic risk management.
Please note that the video is not a substitute for consultation with your doctor. With the information from this video, you should consult with your doctor so as to make the most informed decision possible regarding testing and management of HBOC syndrome.
You can view the 22 minute video by clicking on the hyperlink below. The video viewing screen is located under the “Ovarian Cancer Video Archive” posting dated May 6, 2008.
Comment/Additional Resources: For more information regarding HBOC syndrome, genetic testing, genetic counseling & counselors, and genetic risk management, please click the “Genetics” caption tab located at the top of the H*O*P*E* homepage. The BRCA mutation chart above was provided by Myriad Genetics Laboratories, Inc.