HBOC syndrome gene mutations are most likely to be found in families with one or more of the following red flags.
HBOC gene mutations can still be found in families without a family history of cancer.
The criteria for government-paid testing can vary depending on the region, but for the most part, genetic counsellors will be looking for a confirmed genetic mutation anywhere in a family, or one or more of the following within the same side of a family:
■ Multiple individuals with breast and/or ovarian cancer
■ Breast cancer in both breasts
■ Breast and ovarian cancer in the same individual
■ Breast cancer at age 40 or younger
■ Breast cancer that is ‘triple negative’ at 50 or younger
■ Breast or ovarian cancer in a families with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
■ Men with breast cancer
■ Multiple individuals with uterine, stomach, colon, prostate, melanoma or pancreatic cancer
If your family history has one or more of the red flags listed above, or you believe your family history still warrants a discussion about the possiblity of a familial cancer predisposition, assemble your family history and take it to your general practitioner to talk about a referral for genetic testing.
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