Many people say they’re surprised to be diagnosed with breast cancer when there’s no history in the family. In fact, 90 to 95 per cent of all breast cancers have nothing to do with family history.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that your daughters or anyone else in your family will also develop breast cancer. If you do have a close relative who has also been diagnosed with breast cancer, this could be by chance, as the disease is very common.
In this series, clinical geneticist Dr Michael Gattas answers commonly asked questions and breast cancer and genetics.
You can listen to the series as podcasts via our SoundCloud page.
A note about genetic testing and life insurance
On 30 October 2018 the Financial Services Council of Australia announced that from 1 July 2019 there will be a moratorium on the use of genetic test results for life insurance policies and income protection policies up to a threshold of $500,000 for life insurance or $4,000 per month for income protection. This moratorium is at least until 2024, and will be reviewed in 2022.
This is very good news for anyone who has had gene testing and is worried the result may make it difficult for other family members to obtain life insurance. These family members should be able to apply for insurance after the start date, and do not have an obligation to disclose their genetic test result if the policy is for an amount below the threshold.
Understanding genetic testing
This video provides a basic introduction to understanding genes and genetic testing.
Genetic testing - Family considerations
When diagnosed with breast cancer, most women want to know whether their relatives are at increased risk of developing the disease. In this video, Dr Gattas talks about family considerations.
Genetic testing - Information for GPs
The final video in this series provides information about genetic testing and breast cancer for GPs.