What is Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome?
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) is a condition associated with an increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. HBOC is a genetic condition. That means it can be passed from parent to child, generation to generation, affecting multiple family members.
Who can be affected by HBOC?
Anyone with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, and other cancers is at an increased risk for HBOC. It can affect both males and females, whether they've had cancer or not.
What causes HBOC?
HBOC is most often caused by changes (mutations) in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. While these two genes normally help prevent cancers, mutations may damage this ability. This may leave someone at higher risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. These mutations are usually inherited from a parent.
Next steps after HBOC diagnosis
If someone is diagnosed with HBOC, there are several steps they can take for prevention or early detection of breast or ovarian cancer. To find out more, they should speak to their health care provider about beginning cancer screening at a younger age or screening more frequently. They should also consider asking about medications or surgical treatments that may reduce the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Since HBOC is known to “run in the family,” it is important that the family of those diagnosed with HBOC are also tested for the syndrome. Generally, first- and second-degree biological relatives are at heightened risk for HBOC. These relatives include parents, siblings, children, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, and half-siblings.
Talk to your family about HBOC
Where can I go to receive genetic services in Washington?
Cancer screening in Washington
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer information (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Bring Your Brave Campaign (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)