Decoding Genetic Predisposition: Understanding BRCA Gene Mutations
Unraveling BRCA Gene Mutations and Breast Cancer Risk
BRCA gene mutations, specifically the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, are associated with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. These genes normally play a crucial role in repairing damaged DNA. When mutations occur, their ability to repair DNA damage becomes compromised, which can lead to the unchecked growth of abnormal cells, ultimately increasing the likelihood of cancer development.
An estimated 45% to 72% of women who carry these harmful gene mutations will develop breast cancer in their lives, compared to about 13% of the general population. Although breast cancer in men is rare, men who carry the genes have an increased risk of 1% to 10%. Hereditary breast cancer typically presents earlier in life and is likely to develop contralaterally within 20 years if it develops in one breast first.
Several factors may influence the risk, including which mutation is inherited. BRCA1 presents a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to BRCA2, but both are uncommon, comprising only 5% to 10% of all breast cancer diagnoses. Carrying either mutation is not an absolute indicator that you will develop the disease. (more…)
We’ve all heard the saying “Early detection is the best prevention”, and it could not be truer. When it comes to breast cancer diagnosis, the earlier it is detected, the better chances the patient has for successful cancer removal and cure.