BRCA negative but still got cancer

I am new to the forum and interested to hear from other women who might be in a similar situation to me.

The BRCA 1 gene is very prevalent in my family but I do not have it…yet still got breast cancer. I am 30 and was diagnosed with triple negative IDC, grade 3 in Feb this year. I am nearly finished my treatment and doing really well.

I have been seeing a geneticist and her message to me is that my cancer was probably caused by a gene or a combination of genes as yet unknown. I am someone who likes an explanation for everything and I while I am pleased to be BRCA-negative, if I did have it, at least that would explain why I got cancer. It seems to me that it is too much of a coincidence that my great-grandmother, grandmother and three aunts and now me, have all had breast cancer. (Gene is on my father’s side)

There was a study in Manchester a couple of years ago which found that women in BRCA families were at a higher risk of developing breast cancer even if they tested negative for the gene.


Hi…I’m glad you’re doing well. I’ve been told the same as you, my breast cancer could be caused by a yet unknown gene. I think there are lots of us here in the same situation, there is breast, ovarian and prostate cancer in my family. Even though I too tested negative for BRCA 1 and 2 my sister is now being offered early yearly mammograms and has had her ovaries removed. My daughter will be offered screening in her early 30’s. Best Wishes…x

I have triple neg BCand my sister died of secondary BC, my half brother has had prostrate cancer and the genetic chap said mine was a perfect brca family history - but I tested negative. They have suggested that I take part in some trial genetic testing at the Royal Marsden which Iwill do. I think at the moment that they can identify certain genes but they feel that sometimes if it is a mutation of a brca 1 or 2 that they can’t pick that up but it may still pose a problem. This is complicated by the fact sometimes they only do a partial check rather than full genetic screen. I was covered under the family history programme at the Royal Marden for the last ten years because of the high incidence in my family. Unfortunately it didn’t pick my BC up until it was stage 3C/4 but that is the nature of the beast (no outward signs or symptoms). Its difficult as genetics are a new science and there is so much to learn


Thanks to you both for your comments…I too have enrolled in a genetic trial at the Marsden…like you say, there is so much we don’t know yet about the role of genetics…it really is in its infancy.

This is exactly why I chose to have preventative surgery, despite testing negative. I waited years for the genetic results, knowing I would go ahead with surgery anyway, whatever the result.

Jackie x