What Does It Mean If I Have Breast Cancer in My Family?
double that of white women. In Chicago, recent strides have been made to reduce the gap from 62% to 39%, but the significant disparity still remains.
There are many reasons for these disparities, some of which are beyond our control. But by understanding the issue and our own personal risk, we can be empowered to manage our breast health proactively.
A Family Matter
1 in 8 women, or 12% of women in the country, will be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, if you have a first-degree relative (a mother, a sister, or a grandmother) who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your personal risk automatically doubles.
It becomes even greater if that family risk is coming from a genetic mutation, meaning a fault in one of the genes in your body charged with protecting you from cancer. While rates of genetic mutations are relatively low, black women are more likely to have a BRCA2 mutation, which can increase your risk of getting breast cancer to up to 84%.
That’s why it’s so important to ask your family questions about their medical history. It can be difficult (sometimes impossible) and uncomfortable, but if