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Yes. There are genetic factors. There are some people that are born with certain genes that predispose them to stroke. One such condition would be CADASIL (cerebral autosomal-dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy). If you are interested, I am sure you can learn more about this condition from the Web. Some people are born with genetic conditions that predispose them to clotting. This in turn may increase their stroke risk. Finally, if you have a strong family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or any of the major modifiable risk factors for stroke, you may also be at higher risk because of this. However, these particular conditions are very much treatable and you certainly can do something about them to lower your risk.

Most women who get breast cancer do not have any family history of breast cancer. Just because a family member had breast cancer does not always mean that you will get breast cancer.

We do know that there are some genes associated with a known increased risk of breast cancer. These are BRCA 1 (breast cancer 1, early onset human tumor suppressor gene) and BRCA 2 (breast cancer type 2, susceptibility protein). Only 10 percent of women with breast cancer have these inherited genes. These women usually get breast cancer at a young age and have multiple family members with breast or ovarian cancer.

Answered by Stephanie Valente, DO. Dr. Valente is a breast surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. She is a board certified general surgeon with fellowship training in surgical breast oncology and serves as the Associate Director of the Cleveland Clinic Breast Fellowship.

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