ST. LOUIS — Doctors in the St. Louis area are getting the word out about the importance of routine breast cancer screenings for men. The Siteman Cancer Center said men should get tested for a specific gene.

The BRCA or brack genetic mutation puts people at risk for certain cancers.

“Men should really consider getting tested for the BRCA gene, which is a gene that can predispose people to breast and ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Patricia Dickson, a medical geneticist at the Siteman Cancer Center.

About 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man. Dickson said if there is cancer in your family, talk to your doctor to see if genetic testing is right for you.

“If you have a strong family history of cancer, you really should be tested for one of those genes,” Dickson said. “But consider it even if you have a few family members with cancer because we’re finding that even if you only have a few family members with cancer, you could still have one of these genes.”

Doctors recommend that men with the BRCA gene do self-breast exams, checking for lumps or skin discoloration. Men are learning to think pink, not just for their health but for the health of their families.

“So if you have one of these genes that predispose you to cancer, then you have a risk of passing that on to your daughter. I hope that men can take their own health into their own hands and also think about the women who they love,” said Dickson.

For more information on genetic testing, visit the Siteman Cancer Center’s website at https://siteman.Wustl.Edu/prevention/genetic-counseling/