Genetics and Breast cancer Risks


All cancer is genetic, but not all cancer is hereditary; so it’s very important to choose your parents. Cancers within the family that are genetically linked, but not necessarily one that gets passed on from generation to generation.”Breast cancer gene one (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene two (BRCA2) are both high on the list for gene mutations that cause breast cancer in both men and women. They are the most famous, but not the sole reasons for getting breast or ovarian cancerCowden syndrome, Chek2 gene, and li-fraumeni syndrome, those are rare gene that can produce multiple cancers in the same individual.

Certain factors are considered before patients undergo the test, such as family history and the ability to respond to the outcome of the tests. Significant counseling needs to happen so the families are prepared to deal with the results of the test in the best possible way.


“Seventy to 80 percent of all breast cancers are of sporadic variety. Fifteen to 20 percent is family clusters, where you have multiple family members that have that breast cancer, but not necessarily BRCA gene-related. Ultimately, the inherited variety is about 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers. If someone does have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, the chance of getting breast cancer increases significantly with age, from about 10 percent at age 40 to nearly 90 percent at age 70.It’s almost an absolute that if someone who is a carrier lives long enough, they will get the disease. This gives us an opportunity to intervene with earlier detection abilities. Genetic breast cancer develops when two normal genes both become damaged and a tumor starts to grow. In hereditary breast cancer, the person will already have a damaged gene passed down by their parents and only need one exposure to have a tumor grow.In order to combat cancer in those with the higher risk of the BRCA genes, medical surveillance starting at a younger age, including a clinical exam every six months, monthly self-breast exams, mammograms coupled with an ultrasound once a year, and an MRI once a year. A good mammogram can easily miss up to 15 percent of breast cancers,” ultrasound as well, especially because a younger woman has denser breast tissue.”

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