Genetics Of Breast Cancer - Breast cancer: Lumps, Causes And Treatment

Genetics Of Breast Cancer

Genetics Of Breast Cancer 


Different diseases have different risk factors. For example, smoking tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer, larynx and mouth. Having one or more risk factor do not mean that you certainly get the disease. The fact is that many people, who don’t even have any risk factor, get the disease.

Risk factors may be age, race, environment, life-style or genetic. Some of these risk factors can be altered or removed but nothing can be done about others such as aging and genetic risk factors.
Breast cancer genetics relationship has shown that almost 10 % of all breast cancers are hereditary occurring due to mutations (abnormal gene alteration) in genes. Most common are BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer 1 and Breast Cancer 2) gene mutations. Normally BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for proteins that prevent cells from growing abnormally and resulting in cancer. People born with inherited mutations in BRCA genes have 80 % more chances of developing breast cancer than those who don’t have these inherited gene mutations. More often BRCA gene mutations are found in Ashkenazi Jewish, Polish, Hispania and African American races.

Apart from BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes genetic link to breast cancer is also discovered with other genes like CHEK-2, ATM (Ataxia-Telangiectasia) in familial case and relation of p53 Tumor suppressor gene in genetics of sporadic breast cancer. Sporadic relates to non-inherited cases of breast cancer. Inherited mutations of these genes suggest high risk of breast cancer but still more studies are required to prove their roles in genetics and familial breast cancer.

If you have family history of breast cancer, then genetic testing for breast cancer is highly recommended. But you must first discuss with genetic counselor or certified doctor about it and be fully aware of benefits and effects of genetic testing.
Genetic testing for BRCA gene mutations are done in two steps. First BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation has to be found in relative with breast cancer. If mutation is found only then predictive testing is suggested for the person at risk. Privately available genetic testing for breast cancer BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations cost approximately 2600$. Once found with inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations then self examination of breasts at age 18 years, with annual clinical examinations and mammography after age 25 years are recommended.

There is no such thing as alternative genetic breast cancer treatments. If you have read about them somewhere, simply don’t believe them.

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