No one knows the exact causes of hereditary breast cancer Doctors often cannot explain why one woman develops breast cancer and another does not. They do know that bumping, bruising, or touching the breast does not cause cancer. And breast cancer is not contagious. You cannot "catch" it from another person.
Research has shown that women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.
Yes, indeed! There is a lot going on involving BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutation of these genes can lead to increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. There are companies such as Myriad Genetics Inc. that patent or license these genes, claiming sole proprietorship. Recently, a U.S. District Judge ruled against seven patents covering BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The contention is, according to the literature, combination of genes are critical in identifying risks of diseases. Thus, exclusive licensing of the genes could slow down advances in the area of medicine even though with the rapid advances in technology, machines can now identify genes easier.
A person's age, genetic factors, personal health history, and diet all contribute to breast cancer risk. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, after skin cancer. Today, approximately 1 in almost every 8 women (13.4%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
In 5% of breast cancer cases, there is a strong inherited familial risk. Two autosomal dominant genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, account for most of the cases of familial breast cancer. Family members who harbor mutations in these genes have a 60% to 80% risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetimesOther associated malignancies include ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer. If a mother or a sister was diagnosed breast cancer, the risk of a hereditary ‘’’BRCA1’’’ or ‘’’BRCA2’’’ gene mutation is about 2-fold higher than those women without a familial history. In addition to the BRCA genes associated with breast cancer, the presence of NBR2, near breast cancer gene 1, has been discovered, and research into its contribution to breast cancer pathogenesis is ongoing.Commercial testing for ‘’’BRCA1’’’ and ‘’’BRCA2’’’ gene mutations has been available since at least 2004.