Brest cancer Essay

This essay has a total of 1085 words and 5 pages.

brest cancer

"One in every ten women in the United States will develop breast cancer sometime during
her life". (Breast Care). More than six percent of these cases are linked to hereditary.
There are many measures that can be taken to detect breast cancer early in its stages.
Women who believe they have a higher risk should have the breast cancer gene testing.

In order for a woman to consider her case of breast cancer to be hereditary, she must
contain either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation in her genetic make up. Hundreds of
mutations have been found in both genes and almost all of the mutations identified are
primitive mutations found in only a single family. Most of the mutations result in a
miss-formed protein product; thus the nature of these mutations is easily interpreted. Two
successive acquired mutations occurring in a single cell are necessary for the development
of cancer. Mutations anywhere along either gene are associated with an increased risk for
breast cancer. (Transmed Network-Breast Cancer-Characteristics of Hereditary Breast
Cancer, 1997).

More than six hundred different mutations have been identified on the BRCA1 gene. (Gene
Clinics, 2000). The number of mutations found on the BRCA1 gene is different than those
found on the BRCA 2 gene. The prevalence of cancer predisposing BRCA1 mutations in the
general population is estimated to be between one out of five hundred and one out of a
thousand cases. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations indicate that elevated breast cancer risks begin
in the late twenties and early thirties. Doctors normally recommend that women began
yearly mammograms at the age of fifty. If the gene can be detected as early as the age of
twenty, women should take advantage of the extra precaution and have the test done in
addition to the mammograms to prevent late diagnosis of cancer. (Gene Clinics, 2000).

Virtually all individuals with a cancer predisposing mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have
inherited it from a parent. (Gene Clinics, 2000). The parent may or may not have had a
cancer diagnosis depending upon the penetrance of the mutation, the gender of the parent,
the age of the parent with mutation and other variables. It is appropriate to offer
mutation analysis to both parents of an individual with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 cancer
predisposing mutation. (Gene Clinics, 2000).

In inherited forms of cancer, the parent passes on the gene mutations through a loss of
either the maternal or paternal allele within the egg or sperm from which an individual is
conceived. Thus every child that is conceived thereafter has a possibility of passing it
on to his or her child. (Transmed Network-Breast Cancer-Characteristics of Hereditary
Breast Cancer, 1997). The off spring of an individual identified as having either the
BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a fifty percent chance of inheriting the mutation
themselves. (Gene Clinics, 2000). If the mutation exists in someone's genetic makeup it is
considered a dominant trait and can be passed down generation to generation as long as it
remains dominant. The mutation may also be passed down as a recessive gene in the genetic

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