(WSYR-TV) — A recent survey from Myriad Genetics revealed that when it comes to inherited risk for breast and ovarian cancer, health history on dad’s side of the family is often overlooked.
For previvors – that is, people living at elevated risk of a particular disease but not yet diagnosed – understanding your family history, and health risks, from your father’s side of the family can help you take a proactive approach to your own health.
For previvor Jen Culton, she found out she had the breast cancer mutation gene from her sister, Mickey. Mickey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Her doctors recommended she undergo genetic testing, and it was discovered that she carries a BRCA1 gene mutation.
While undergoing cancer treatment, Mickey had one request: that all six of her siblings undergo genetic testing as well.
For Jen it came as a surprise. She knew her mother’s side did not have a history of cancer. Later she learned that her father’s side did and the gene mutations actually came from his side of the family.
This may come as a surprise to many, since most of us don’t think it’s possible to get breast cancer from a father. That’s why knowing your own risk is essential, and undergoing genetic testing can be critical to preventing a cancer diagnosis.
For more information on the risks of breast cancer and what you should know, visit Myriad.com.