Testing family


ive been diagnosed breast cancer at 47 yrs,want to know if my sister and my daughter can or should be tested for the Jean. If so how do they go about getting it done. Also my mother had Breast cancer at 53 yrs. 

thank you.

  • Hi

    Thank you for getting in touch, and welcome to our online community. I’m Geri, and I’m one of the nurses here at Macmillan. I’m sorry to hear about your breast cancer diagnosis, and your worry  about the risk to other members of the family.  


    After a cancer diagnosis, it’s natural to worry about the risk to your family, especially as your mum also had breast cancer.  Only 5-10% of cancers happen because of an inherited faulty gene, this means that 90-95% are not genetically linked.

    In families affected by one of the genes it would be more common to see several relatives with the same cancer, and often at a younger age than we see most other cancers.  

    Most women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of it. Or if they have only one female relative over 40 with a breast cancer, the risk is unlikely to be very different to other women of the same age. Your sister and daughter now have 2 close relatives with breast cancer, so it is possible that their risk could be higher.


    I would suggest talking to your breast care team about your concerns and asking their opinion about the need for genetic testing. If they think there may be an increased risk, they can make a referral to the genetics department who can assess if genetic testing is necessary. If this was the case, they would usually test the person with the cancer first. If no faulty genes were found, then it wouldn’t be necessary to test your sister or your daughter.


    Some people find it helpful to share experiences and learn from others in a similar situation. Our online community has a breast cancer group for younger women under 50.Breast Cancer Now also has a forum with different types of support.


    You can always give us a call on the helpline and speak with one of our nurses who would be happy to talk things through with you.


    Take Care

    Geri- Macmillan Information Nurse