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Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Prevention

University of Chicago researchers discovered that breast cancer mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2) are prevalent in African-American women and African women. »Learn more about our cancer genetics research

Inherited forms of breast and ovarian cancer are caused by mutations in several different genes. For example:

  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • PALB2
  • TP53
  • PTEN

Women who inherit a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have an increased risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer at an early age, developing breast cancer in both breasts, and/or developing more than one type of cancer during their lifetime. Men who inherit these mutations have a higher risk for developing breast and other cancers.

Michelle McBride Sensitized to her familial risk for cancer by watching her mother and grandmother succumb to breast cancer early in life, Michelle McBride sought help from UChicago Medicine cancer risk experts. » Read McBride's story

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology recommends that all women who have a diagnosis of ovarian/fallopian tube cancer undergo genetic counseling and testing. The goal of risk assessment is to prevent cancer either through a surgical procedure or chemoprevention medications, or to detect it an early stage.

The Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic offers personalized risk assessment and prevention recommendations for patients and families who may be at increased risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer due to genetic factors. Our services include:

  • Breast and ovarian cancer risk assessment and genetic testing
  • Cancer prevention counseling and strategies
  • High risk breast cancer screening and surveillance, including breast MRI
  • Ovarian cancer screening and prevention
  • Coordinated care for individuals with an inherited mutation that increases the risk of breast, ovarian and/or other cancers

Evaluation and risk assessment are offered for individuals or families who have the following in their medical history --
A personal history of:

  • Early onset breast cancer (after the age of 50; or if type of breast cancer is triple negative, than after the age of 60)
  • Bilateral breast cancer
  • Breast and ovarian, thyroid, or endometrial cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Ovarian or fallopian tube cancer
  • Breast and/or ovarian cancer and ethnic background with an increased risk of inherited forms of breast cancer (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)

A family history of:

  • Two or more close relatives with breast and/or ovarian cancer and/or pancreatic cancer and/or aggressive prostate cancer

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Prevention Team

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP
Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics

Jane Churpek, MD
Co-director, Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic

Nita Karnik Lee, MD, MPH
Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD
Iris Romero, MD, MS
S. Diane Yamada, MD

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For more information, call Felicia Steverson, Cancer Risk Administrative Coordinator, at (773) 702-1093.