This case represents a composite of many different patients and is not meant to represent an individual. Any resemblance to an actual patient is coincidental.
A 32-year-old African American woman presented with a self-palpated left breast mass (axillary tail at 9 o’clock position). The patient was a nonsmoker, was otherwise healthy, and had no family history of breast or any other cancer. She had never used oral contraceptives or hormones, was never pregnant, her menarche was at age 12 years, and she had regular menstrual periods. On physical examination she had a 1-cm left breast mass and a palpable left axillary lymph node. A complete diagnostic workup revealed a 2-cm left breast mass. An ultrasound-guided biopsy of the axillary lymph node was positive for invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). The final diagnosis was left breast cancer, stage IIB IDC, T1N1M0, ER+, PR+, HER2 2+ by immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was 2.4, confirming a HER2+ tumor.
Anita Aggarwal, DO, PhD. What is the role of genetic counseling and testing in this young patient who does not have a family history of breast cancer?