Risk to younger sister

I am 31 and last year i was diagnosed with Breast cancer. My Maternal Grandmother also had BC in her 50’s. I have a Sister who is 28 and I am worried about her risk of getting BC also my Mother who is 54. My Sister went to her GP and told him about me having BC at the age of 31 and whether she should be referred for early screening? He told her that my consultant would have to refer any family members, I just wondered if this is correct as my consultant has not asked me about any of my family members?
I am so worried about my Sister and Mother more worried about them that about myself as I would hate for this to happen to them also.

Hi cushkin and welcome to the BCC forums

Whilst you await replies I am posting a link to the BCC publication ‘Breast cancer in families’ which you may find helpful to read:


You are also welcome to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 for further information and support, weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2.

Take care

Hi Cushkin

your sister can ask her own GP to refer her… even if you have the same GP its up to her if she wants to be referred… consultants and GPs can only really refer their own patients as your sis would have to make a request, an individual cannot really make requests for treatment and investigations on behalf of a sibling or family member.

even though you were young when you were diagnosed its unlikely your sis would get any screening until she is 30 at the youngest however in England the guidelines are 40 so it may be even longer… there is a research study called FH02 which is looking to recruit people with a string family history for annual mammos between age 35-39… this is being recruited at a number of units across the country so it might useful if she asks about it.

the best advice is for her to be breast aware and BCC do a really good leaflet on what changes need to be investigated.

your mum will already be in the national screening programme and because you would increase her risk from low (population risk) to moderate the screening protocol, for moderate risk individuals in annual screening between 40-50 then screening through the NBSP.

if you have a genetic nurse or have been referred to genetics yourself it might be useful to have mum and sis go along with you so you can all discuss your risk.

Take care
Lulu x

Hi Lulu thanks for your help.

I thought it didn’t sound right when she told me about what her GP had said. He didn’t seem to take what she said seriously.

I keep telling her how important it is for her to check herself regularly as I had done which resulted in me finding a lump and getting it sorted straight away. I think she gets fed up with me nagging her every time i see her, oh well if it get her to check I don’t care :slight_smile:

I haven’t been referred to a genetics nurse, should I be?

I can deal with having BC myself but the though of someone else in my family having it really scares me.

Cushkin x

I don’t know anything about siblings, but I was told that my daughters should get themselves screened from ten years younger than I was at dx. I was 44 at dx, so my daughters should get themselves screened from 34.

My genetic counsellor told me that my sister and cousin would be entitled to start screening early because of the family history. It was up to me to tell them that and then for them to contact their own GPs.

You could ask your GP to refer you to your local genetics service, Cushkin. I had to go through my GP for my referral rather than it going through my consultant. It was very useful to be able to talk it all through with a genetic counsellor.

Eliza xx


if you would like to be referred to the genetic team then you can ask for your onc or surgeon or possibly you gp to do that…

with no first degree relatives having BC its unlikely they will pursue things further than discussing your risk relevant to your family and they wouldnt normally be in a position to offer genetic testing. however there are sometimes situations where they could offer testing for example if you are from an Ashkenazi Jewish heritage they may be able to test for the 3 known gene changes that are common to these families.

Road runner if there is more BC in your family or you had bilateral BC then any sisters you have or brothers daughters would be entitled to screening from age 40 or sometimes earlier depending on your area… the NICE guidelines say from age 40 however some unit will do it for 5 years younger than the youngest age of onset some do 10 years younger and some will screen mammographically from age 35 or 30… normally only 1 episode of BC in the 40s wouldnt be viewed as increased risk for the family… but if you have a family history then it may.

lulu x