Women at risk of breast cancer miss out on tests and early diagnosis because their father's family's health history is disregarded, a new study has said.
Canadian researchers found that women were more likely to report a history of the disease on their mother's side. A UK cancer charity said a father's history was "often overlooked".
AdvertisementThe Lancet Oncology research, led by Jeanna McCuaig from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, found that despite the equal chance of inheritance from mother or father, the maternal history seemed to be taken more seriously.
"It's important to know that faulty genes can be inherited from the father, as well as the mother," the BBC quoted Dr Caitlin Palframan Breakthrough Breast Cancer as saying.
Two reasons were cited for this: lack of knowledge in women about the risks, and a similar problem among family doctors, who did not ask women about the history of breast cancer on their father's side.
"However, this is unusual as only around one in 20 of all breast cancers are due to inherited faults in known genes," Palframan said.
She urged anyone concerned about breast cancer cases in their family history to speak to their doctor.
The research is published in Lancet Oncology.