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Relative with Cancer, will her doctors be asking about family and genetics?

(17 Posts)
Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 12:21:25

I have an elderly relative who has had bilateral breast cancer (started in her 40's) and she now has ovarian cancer. I am currently being tested for the Brca1 &2 genes due to our shared family history of BC and pancreatic cancer.

Years ago I asked her about genetic testing as I was told that a sample from her to compare with me would be the best way about going about the testing. However she wasnt keen and really didn't want to know. I am reluctant to ask her again as she has said no twice.

The question I wanted to ask is: Is it likely that the doctors treating her for her current problems (shes had surgery and chemo) will talk to her about genetics and her family? Is it something that is routinely brought up with people being treated?

Thank you, I realise some people are proactive and want to know about these things and others really don't. I would like to know if the subject is likely to be discussed?

Indantherene Fri 26-Feb-16 12:24:57

Given her age I doubt they'll ask her TBH. You could give her name to your doctors.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 12:37:24

They have her name, she gave consent years ago for my drs to look at her records but apparently as a few years have passed that consent would need to be renewed. Interesting that you think they wouldn't ask her. Is it more a case of families asking for testing rather than drs suggesting it might be a thing to consider?

Indantherene Fri 26-Feb-16 13:21:22

I had to ask my oncologist what the risks were of my children developing the same cancer. I was only asked if my parents had had cancer. No interest in the next generation.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 26-Feb-16 13:24:48

I would have thought they would ask. When I had a breast lump scare I was asked if there was a family history, ditto with skin cancer. This is not the same thing as suggesting genetic testing though.

Indantherene Fri 26-Feb-16 13:25:34

Meant to add that my father's mother and her direct line back all died of cancer, but because they were all over 60 they weren't interested.

I've just re read your OP and see your aunt was in her 40s. That might make a difference.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:27:59

Interesting that they did ask about your previous generations but were not interested in the next generation. I wonder if that is the norm. I wonder if it makes a difference if they suspect that a gene could have caused the problem or not.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:30:24

My lot were all young. I think thats why they are keen to test me.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 26-Feb-16 13:30:31

I was told that DD was at a similar risk to skin cancer to me as she has half my genes which may well include my skin type. No specific genetic element though.

I would have thought if there was a specific risk known to be passed down that they would warn you.?

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:36:35

Thats why I'm being tested, to see if theres a genetic thing going on. I'm the first one in the (small) family to question it. There isn't anybody to warn me really.

aginghippy Fri 26-Feb-16 13:41:51

I think they ask about previous generations because it could have a bearing on the person they are treating - in terms of figuring out what type of tumour it is and what would be the best treatment.

Maybe your relative feels she has enough on her plate atm with her ovarian cancer and doesn't want to get involved with other family members health issues.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:44:55

Yes thats why I'm not asking her again. I'm sure she doesn't need to worry about me.

aginghippy Fri 26-Feb-16 13:49:51

Good luck with it all. I hope you get a test result that's reassuring flowers

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:53:38

It was about 8 years ago that I asked her about it. Then her BC was a thing of the past.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 13:57:08

Thank you. This has been bubbling along for years now. Having actually had the blood taken and the more recent genetic councilling sessions has brought it all to the front of my mind. 2-3 months for a result they said.

Tanfastic Fri 26-Feb-16 14:02:17

I don't know op but I'm interested to know too as I've two paternal aunts diagnosed with bc, one in her forties and another late fifties. One died but the other one tells me it's not a genetic type as she was told this by her sister when she was diagnosed years ago. I asked the remaining aunt to let me know what her consultant says (so me and my millions of female cousins) could make some decisions but I just got a very vague answer along the lines of if you are worried get a mammogram which I suppose she is right hmm.

Like you I didn't really want to bother her with it when she was ha I g treatment as she has other health problems as well.

Florencerex Fri 26-Feb-16 14:12:42

I went to my gp a long time ago and got referred for yearly mammograms and breast checks. They went through all the family history then. Its only recently that they have decided to test me without a sample from my relative. The testing has changed apparently. They know more about the Brca genes now than they did back then.

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