Although, breast and ovarian cancer is often hereditary and there is equal chance to inherit it from both parental side, most women at risk ignore history from their father’s side and miss out on tests and early diagnosis.

A study by Canadian researchers has found women were more likely to report a history of the disease on their mother's side. Even family doctors often overlook paternal history of cancer.

The genetic risk come from defective BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, making it much more likely that a woman will develop breast or ovarian cancer in her lifetime.Women with a family history of breast cancer are referred for further testing to see if she has a known gene defect. One way of reducing risk is to have regular checkups.

The Lancet Oncology research, led by Jeanna McCuaig from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto concluded during the survey that there is lack of awareness about the risks of the disease, both among women and their family doctors.

One in 20 of all breast cancers are due to inherited faults in known genes. A family history means having many close relatives with breast cancer history, on any one side of the family.