Genetic Testing – BRCA1 & BRCA2 Mutations | Susan G. Komen

Posted: July 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Genetic testing gives people the chance to learn if their family history of breast cancer is due to an inherited gene mutation.

Most women who get breast cancer do not have an inherited gene mutation. Five to 10 percent of breast cancers in the U.S. are linked to an inherited gene mutation [4,33].

Every cell in your body contains genes. Genes contain the blueprints (genetic code) for your body. For example, they contain the information that determines the color of your eyes. They also contain information that affects how the cells in your body grow, divide and die.

The information in your genes is passed on (inherited) from both your mother and your father. And, you can pass this information on to your children, both your daughters and sons.

Some changes in the genetic code that affect the function of the gene are called mutations. Mutations are rare. However, just as with other information in genes, mutations can be passed on from a parent to a child.

Some inherited gene mutations increase breast cancer risk. BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) are the best-known genes linked to breast cancer. People who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer and (for women) ovarian cancer. However, there are some options for lowering these increased risks.

Learn more about BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and breast cancer risk.

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Although genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is widely advertised, testing is only recommended for certain people, including those with [246]:

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Genetic Testing - BRCA1 & BRCA2 Mutations | Susan G. Komen

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