Am I high risk?

Am I high risk?

Am I high risk? Hello

My Mum has jsut been diagnosed with BC at 58, my Nan passed away last year after a variety of illnesses, including the late discovery that she had breast cancer (both breasts). We believe she had it for a long time and didn’t do anything about it so the age of it starting is unknown.

My Nan had also had a hystorectomy in her 70s after they found a lump, but we never found out if it was cancerous or not as my Nan again refused to talk about it.

As these are both my blood relatives, am I at high risk? I’m 27 and am concerned for the future e.g. how can I reduce my risk, should I be scanned, should we evaluate the timing of having children e.g if we have children late will this increase the risk etc etc.

Sorry - so many questions. Just got over the shock of my Mum having BC and now I’m worrying about the implications on the whole family… e.g. does my brother have a high risk too?

I guess I should see my GP. Any views would be good though. Thx.

Dear Pearly2000 Breast Cancer Care have published a factsheet about familial breast cancer which you may find helpful to read, you can read it via the following link:

If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 which is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm. The helpliners will be able offer you support, information and advice about the concerns you have regarding your risk of breast cancer.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care


I’m so sorry to hear about your mum’s diagnosis.

I’m not an expert and of course you should consult your doctor but I recently had a long chat (2 hours - fantastic NHS service!) with a genetic nurse specialist about my risk. She said that I am technically high risk because they take the average age that family members get breast, ovarian or prostate cancer - which are linked -and if the average age is less than 50 you are technically high risk (my mum was 56 and my sister 39 when they were diagnosed with BC). Thinking about your situation, it seems that your mum and nan were both older when they had BC - their average age will be much more than 50. The other possible cancers that you mention (with the hysterectomy) do not sound linked to BC. I have all sorts of cancer in my family but the genetic nurse said she was only interested in prostate, breast and ovarian. Interestingly, my mum had BC, her brother had prostate cancer, her aunt BC and my sister BC and the genetic nurse said that because the first three got their cancers in their 50s or older, she does not think my risk is very high at all (it’s only my sister’s cancer that is a concern).

So taking all that into account, I don’t think you would fall into a high risk group, but please do talk to your GP about it.

Lots of love to you, I hope your mum is doing well.


Hi Pearly2000,

Following on from my previous email - I have just noticed that you live in Cambridge - so do I. I went to the genetic screening clinic at Addenbrooke’s and it was a brilliant service.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Let us know how your mum gets on.

Thanks Thanks everyone for your advice - really kind of you. I’m seeing my GP next week to discuss.

My Mum is doing fine and has opted for a mastectomy although she is concerned that there was no mention of a reconstruction, do they offer this later? Is it offered to younger women as a preference?

That’s the only thing worrying her as a few people have asked her about it and that was one thing the consultant didn’t say - she’s paranoid now its becuase of where the lump is (deep in the tissue, breastbone area). Any views on this?

As for the family history, my Nan could’ve had a hystorectomy for many reasons, we’re really not sure. She may have just had a lump removed. Talking to my parents, there’s no other cancer on either side so fingers crossed my risk is classed as ‘normal’. Will be good to find out how to examine myself properly though when I see the GP.

Thanks again to all - Lilly good to hear you’re in the Cambridge area. My Mum wasn’t told about the genetics side at all… hmmm!