Your BRCA Genes and Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink ribbon w Blue ratio_ctrBy Hui Xie-Zukauskas

We wear pink, especially in October, in honor of those who are currently fighting breast cancer and who died of breast cancer. Altogether, pink is the color associated with breast cancer awareness. For the same reason, I challenge you to go beyond the PINK, by learning a little bit more about how a damaging change in our genes causes breast cancer.

A mutation of BRCA genes has been linked to breast cancer. Indeed, this mutation inherited from either parent allows cancer to grow. Each of us has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, have you ever wondered whether or not you carry a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2?

Today, let’s get into BRCA mutation 101.

First, what are BRCA1 and BRCA2?

BRCA genes_Basic_CPDBRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are cancer suppressors, i.e. they help fight breast cancer. When either of these genes becomes mutated, it no longer functions properly. As a result of unrepaired DNA damage and impaired genetic integrity, cells are likely growing uncontrolled to develop cancer, just as a car racing on the highway without a brake.

What are harmful effects of BRCA mutation?

For women with BRCA mutation, the lifetime risk of breast cancer is approximately 80%, and chance of ovarian cancers is 54%.

Furthermore, BRCA mutations are also linked to other cancers, including:

  • Women with a BRCA1 mutation are at risk for ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.
  • Women with a BRCA2 are at increased risk for melanoma and pancreatic cancer.
  • Other cancer risks: endometrial cancer, colon cancer, etc.
  • Men with BRCA2 mutation are at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.

Who are BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers?

  1. Young women. Notably, women with a BRCA1 mutation are typically diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Approximately one-half of breast cancers occur in BRCA1 mutation carriers before the age of 40.
  2. Both women and men. BRCA is not a sex-linked gene, hence women are not the only BRCA mutation carriers. Men carry BRCA mutation too, although they have a lower risk. A harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a person’s mother or father. So, BRCA mutation can pass on without skipping a generation.
  3. Diverse ethnicity. Americans can be BRCA mutation carriers, so can other populations worldwide.

How to detect a BRCA mutation? Pros and Cons?

You can get a genetic screening. Identifying or determining BRCA gene mutation is a blood test. DNA sample for mutation testing can also be obtained from saliva.

Genetic testing may spot unaffected yet high-risk individuals for prevention or closer monitoring, and can help affected women choose the best cancer therapy.

On the other hand, it’s not a routine blood test for public screening. It’s expensive, and takes about a month to get the result. You need to get a genetic counseling and check with an oncologist to make an informed decision.

To conclude

BRCA gene mutations can lead to breast cancer and potentially other cancers. Early detection is the key to saving lives.

Undeniably, breast cancer prevention is for both women and men, and is a year-around practice. We cannot control our genes, but each of us can control or stop an unhealthy lifestyle to reduce cancer risk.


18 thoughts on “Your BRCA Genes and Breast Cancer Awareness

  1. Carolina

    I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home later.

    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good site!

  2. Michal

    You really make it seem sο eaѕy with your presеntatiоn
    but I find it seems complex to me. I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  3. portugal holliday

    Appreciating the dedication you put into your site and detailed information you provide.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including
    your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  4. Dian

    Hi there! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for the great information you’ve got here
    on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.

  5. 心細

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate this post, and the rest of the website is really good.

  6. シャネル 財布 長財布 カメリア ブラックシルバー ラメ CC CHANEL ラムスキン マトラッセ Wチェーンショルダーバッグ

    I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  7. devcell

    Hi there to all, the contents present at this website are in fact amazing, well, keep up the nice work.

  8. cyrusgannon

    Heya, i’m here for the first time. I came across this board and find it truly useful; it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to give something back
    and help others as you assisted me.

  9. moncler France

    Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this post to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Catherine

    Cultivate the good habit of doing some form of physical exercise regularly. Physical exercise assists to renew your mind and maintain you alert. You can start off with some type of brisk walking as a newbie and slowing increases your speed and distance. In the long run, you will build up the body strength and stamina. Take a walk in the park or reservoirs and inhale some type of pure fresh air. Make a point to exercise a minimum of 3 to five occasions per week with every sessions of 45 minutes to an hour. Have a full eight hours sleep each day and rest early for a good evening rest. In the event you sleep late, your body will probably be feel so restless and no quantity of sleep will help you to recharge. Cancer is not deadly so you need to not intensify yourself by worrying a lot. Learn to relieve yourself from issues that will make you down. You will require a sense of power to help keep you in great state and take a look at a brighter viewpoint. Only then you definitely will probably be in a position to overcome a lot of obstacles that might be coming your way. These few pointers that I’ve listed down are some natural cure for cancer and can assist you to a lengthy way in your journey to fight with cancer.

  11. 2013 スタンドカラージャケット

    A person essentially help to make significant posts. That is the first time I frequented your web page and
    thus far? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular post, incredible.

    Wonderful process!

  12. wordpress

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to
    a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

Comments are closed.