Is My Gynecologic Cancer Genetic?

Ovarian, fallopian tube, and endometrial cancer can all be connected to your genes. There can be a connection to breast and colon cancers, too.

It’s heartbreaking when a family member shares they’ve received a gynecologic or breast cancer diagnosis. It can also be scary when it’s a first degree relative or there’s more than one family member with the same diagnosis: a family history of cancer might mean there’s an inherited genetic mutation that’s being passed down through the family–so you could be at risk.

You may have heard of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Those mutations increase risks for both breast and ovarian cancer.

There’s also Lynch syndrome, an inherited disorder that increases risks for gynecologic cancer, including ovarian and endometrial cancer. This syndrome also increases the risk of colon cancer in both men and women.

There are number of other mutations as well. Genetic testing can help determine if you have one of them.

You should talk to a genetic counselor about possible genetic testing if

  1. you have a close relative who has been diagnosed with gynecologic, breast, or colon cancer,
  2. you have a family member who was diagnosed with cancer prior to age 50,
  3. you have more than one family member with cancer,
  4. you have a relative with a known genetic mutation, or
  5. you are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

Browse through the HysterSisters GYN Cancer Articles which provide more information about genetics and cancer.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Is My Gynecologic Cancer Genetic?


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