Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Family Planning
For some people, learning that they have Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer risk (due to a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation) may have significant potential implications for reproductive decision-making.
For some women, this knowledge may impact the timing of decisions about having children – for example because of their desire to have kids prior to pursuing prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy (a procedure that has cancer prevention benefits for women with HBOC). Additionally, some men and women planning on having children in the future may have concerns about possibly passing the genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer on to future children.
In the last few years, some families in which one prospective parent has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have been increasingly considering an assisted reproductive technology called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) that after in vitro fertilization allows selection of embryos without the specific BRCA1/2 mutation in the family to be implanted. While this procedure is definitely not for everybody, our philosophy at BRCAscoop is that we should try to provide as much information as possible – in a non-judgmental fashion – so that people using the website can make good shared decisions with their physicians. In the future, we’ll be providing more information here about PGD so that you can explore whether it is something that might make sense for you.
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