January 20, 2014

Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?

pink and blue ribbonGenetic Susceptibility Testing for hereditary breast/ovarian, colorectal/endometrial, pancreatic and melanoma cancers has been available to the general public for about 14 years.

One of the most common types of genetic testing is BRACAnalysis. This has become part of the diagnostic workup for people at increased risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers (HBOC) who are either diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer or have a significant family history that indicates a high risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer.

 

Individuals considered at increased risk for HBOC include but are not limited to those with a:

• Family with a known BRCA1 or 2 deleterious (harmful) mutation
• Personal history of breast cancer and one or more of the following:

  • Diagnosed at or before age 45
  • Diagnosed at or before age 50 with at least one close relative with breast cancer
  • Diagnosed at or before age 50 and/or with one or more close blood relative with epithelial ovarian/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancer at any age
  • Diagnosed with two breast primaries, the first diagnosed before age 50
  • Diagnosed before age 60 with “triple negative breast” cancer
  • Diagnosed before age 50 with a limited family history due to few family members
  • Diagnosed at any age with two or more close blood relatives (1st, 2nd or 3rd degree) with breast and/or epithelial ovarian/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancer diagnosed at any age
  • Close male blood relative with breast cancer
  • Personal history of epithelial ovarian/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancer diagnosed at any age
  • Ethnic background associated with higher mutation frequency, such as Ashkenazi Jewish; no additional family history may be required
  • Personal history of male breast cancer
  • Personal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age with two or more close blood relatives (1st,2nd or 3rd degree relatives) with pancreatic cancer diagnosed at any age
  • Personal history of pancreatic cancer diagnosed at any age with two or more close blood relatives with breast and/or ovarian and/or pancreatic cancer diagnosed at any age

Family history only:

  • 1st or 2nd degree blood relative meeting any of the above criteria
  • 3rd degree blood relative with breast cancer and/or ovarian/fallopian tube/peritoneal cancer with two or more close blood relatives with breast cancer (at least one with breast cancer at or under age 50) and/or ovarian cancer

If you or anyone you know has a similar personal or family history, I urge you to speak with your physician and consider learning more about genetic testing, the risks and the benefits.

Be well,
Rae

ABOUT RAE WRUBLE, R.N., MBA
Rae Wruble is a registered nurse who received her RN from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and both a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Barry University. Ms. Wruble has been specially trained as a Genetic Risk Educator by Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her Breast Cancer High Risk Certification from Edu-Care, Inc., of South Carolina and has had additional training in Familial Cancer Risk Counseling from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Currently she is seeking the Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics credential.

In private practice in the South Miami-Dade community, Ms. Wruble was asked by Baptist Health South Florida to open a Genetic Risk Education Service to be part of the Baptist-South Miami Regional Cancer Program. As a community service program, the Genetic Risk Education Service (GRES) seeks to identify individuals and their extended families at risk for hereditary cancer, assist them through the education and testing process, and guide them toward appropriate medical management. Since 2001, more than 3,600 individuals have been referred to GRES, and over 2,200 have been tested for hereditary breast/ovarian, colorectal/endometrial, pancreatic or melanoma cancers. The majority of referrals to the GRES are breast/ovarian cancer patients.

PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION
As a part of our mission to make The Journey a powerful voice for everyone in our community, we invite each of you to consider joining the conversation and sharing your journey with comments and feedback.  You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor, you can be a caregiver, or a friend, or a concerned citizen. What we are looking for is meaningful and helpful conversations that will encourage other people as they travel along their journey. Sharing is caring and very cathartic. I sincerely urge you to take part.
 

Each year, breast cancer claims the lives of nearly half a million moms, daughters, sisters, wives, best friends, even husbands and sons. Help us bring hope and the promise of a healthier future to those affected by breast cancer. Together, we can help families across South Florida celebrate many more beautiful tomorrows together.

 

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