25 Ways to Prevent Cancer

BRCA Mutations and Breast Cancer

BRCA Mutations and Breast Cancer

Dr. Larissa Korde discusses BRCA mutations and breast cancer. There is a lot of focus on understanding genetic predispositions to breast cancer. Some red flags to possible inherited mutations include early onset of breast cancer in women less than age 40, bilateral breast cancer occurring on both sides, and both breast and ovarian cancers occurring in the same family. The most common gene mutations for breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. While BRCA mutations are the cause of only 5-10% of breast cancers, women with these mutations have a risk as high as 50-85% of developing breast cancer, and 10-40% of developing ovarian cancer. Women found to have a BRCA mutation can undergo a more aggressive screening program to diagnose cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage, or can consider taking a more proactive approach including prophylactic mastectomy or oophorectomy to reduce their risk.

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