Myth: It’s only possible to get breast cancer by inheriting “the gene.”
Only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are the result of genetic predisposition (BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genes), meaning that most women who have breast cancer don’t have it in their family history.
However, women with close relatives who’ve had breast cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease themselves. If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled.
It is also important to know your family history of cancer on your father’s side too. If you’re unsure about your family’s medical history – ask! It’s always a good idea to know where you come from (and filling in the branches on your family tree makes for a great rainy day activity).