Should I be screened due to family history of cancer?

5 answers | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
Curiousmm asked...

My brother's wife unfortunately passed away from advanced ovarian cancer. Because of the cancer history on both sides, his daughters have to have their ovaries removed as a precaution against breast cancer. I got to thinking about myself but do not know my father's history. My Gran had uterine cancer and I thought on trying to find out about my father. My GP said that wasn't important as it only came down the female line and uterine cancer had nothing to do with it. My nieces have been told it is very important to have both maternal and paternal history. Any thoughts on this at all please?

Community Answers

Kswerner answered...

There are genetic tests for Lynch syndrome and that would be the test for Uterine cancer. Go see a genetic counselor for more information. The tests can be thousands and your insurance may not pay.

Curiousmm answered...

Thank you KSWerner for your reply. I should have said I am in Scotland UK and these tests would be covered by our National Health. I feel I am up against a brick wall as my GP said I had no need to worry.

Pameee answered...

Curiousmm: You should get checked, and if your doctor doesn't seem concerned you need a new doctor. Best wishes

Catslave answered...

Curiousmm, I am quite ignorant of anything to do with Scotland, so I don't know what would or wouldn't be proper for you to do or what is available for you. In the U.S. we have the American Cancer Society, this link may be helpful to you it talks of Genetics and Cancer -

I would find as much info as you are able to find on the internet, if it supports your concern, take it to your doctor, if he still insists it isn't important then I hope you are able to switch doctors. But definitely get tested.

May I say, my real concern is with your nieces. What a drastic measure. I have not read the link that I suggested, but what if your doctor is correct and theirs is not? You didn't mention their ages, but can you imagine undergoing that surgery if it really wasn't necessary?

If Scotland has a non profit cancer organization, I would start there, but search - uterine cancer, genetics and cancer, cancer, follow where it leads, print out articles, highlight things. For your sake and your neices, go online and get as much info as you can - not opinions - facts.

I am all for genetic testing, did your nieces get it? My sister's husband has breast cancer in the family. His mother, aunt, (also step mother-no blood relation) and lastly his younger sister. Naturally they were concerned for their 4 children so they were tested and found to be free of whatever so no drastic measures needed to be discussed.

Also, when I did a search on Lynch syndrome, that has to do with colorectal cancer, not Uterine cancer. So make sure you've got correct facts, they may save your life.

Good luck, have a good life!

Curiousmm answered...

Thank you for your replies! I should have added that I "think" the test would be covered by our National Health Service. My nieces are attending Genetic counselling and the added worry of being told that their daughters (aged between 18 and 25) could be at risk and they are very keen to get both maternal and paternal history. It is a drastic measure having the ovaries removed but I also have a friend who had this done as both her sisters had breast cancer. I am glad Catslave that your nieces were fine and it proves to me that it is important to follow the male line as well. Thank you again!