Must-Know Cancer Clues from Your Dad

When gauging your risk of breast and ovarian cancer, don't forget dad.

By Norine Dworkin-McDaniel
breast cancer ribbon doctor male pink picture
Photograph: Shawn Gearhart

Concerned about cancer? Share your father’s history with your doc even if he doesn't ask. Patients with a maternal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer are five times as likely to be referred to a cancer-genetics clinic as those with a paternal history—meaning the history of women on their father’s side—according to a Canadian study. This despite the fact that inheriting a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation from either parent raises your risk. “Each parent contributes half your genes, so it’s important to know both parents’ family histories,” says study author Jeanna McCuaig.

Originally published in the 2011 July/August issue of More.

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First Published June 27, 2011

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Fred Brenson07.02.2011

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