Is breast cancer inherited?

By Alan Cantwell, MD
According to the National Institutes of Health, breast cancer can be hereditary. However, hereditary breast cancer only accounts for 5%-10% of all breast cancer cases involving inherited gene mutations. Hereditary breast cancers often occur in younger women and involve both breasts. However, when the family history is strong for breast cancer, a woman’s risk is increased. 

There are tests (BRCA 1,2 and 3) to see if you have a genetic link for breast cancer. However, having one of these marks will not tell if and when you will get breast cancer. To read more about this, Click Here

Doug’s Take 
I’m currently in the middle of Dr Cantwell’s book, Four Women Against Cancer and I believe it is a must read for everyone who wonders if all is well in the field of cancer research. No one I’ve met in my career is as passionate about the topic of cancer than me, and now Dr. Cantwell. We are like-minded individuals, knowing full well that a germ is the causative agent of cancer. I prefer walking for “the cause” over racing for “the cure!”

I’m hoping that Dr. Cantwell’s words above settle the minds of our female readers, because as I have told you for decades, fear seems to govern decisions that we make regarding healthcare and the word “hereditary” is being thrown around far too often. There is strength in knowledge. Now you know that if your mother had breast cancer, stay active in learning about it and preventing it, but be careful of being hyperactive in testing for it. Radiation takes its toll on human tissues.

Alan Cantwell is a retired dermatologist. He is the author of  “Four Women Against Cancer,” available on His scientific papers can be found on the PubMed website (Use “Cantwell AR” in the search engine). For his Internet papers, Google: “alan cantwell” + articles.



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