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Is Breast Cancer Only Genetic

If You Have A Faulty Gene

What is Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome?

If you have a faulty gene that increases the risk of ovarian cancer, what happens next will depend on which gene you have. Your specialist may suggest regular screening. Researchers are looking into the best way to do this. Or, depending on your age and whether youve had all the children you want to have, you may choose to have surgery to remove your ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Are Harmful Variants In Brca1 And Brca2 More Common In Certain Racial/ethnic Populations Than Others

Yes. The likelihood of carrying an inherited mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 varies across specific population groups. While the prevalence in the general population is about 0.2%0.3% , about 2.0% of people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent carry a harmful variant in one of these two genes and the variants are usually one of three specific variants, called founder mutations. Other populations, such as Norwegian, Dutch, and Icelandic peoples, also have founder mutations .

Different racial/ethnic and geographic populations also tend to carry different variants in these genes. For instance, African Americans have BRCA1 variants that are not seen in other racial/ethnic groups in the United States . Most people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent in the United States who carry a BRCA variant have one of three specific variants . In the Icelandic population, a different variant in BRCA1 is common among those who inherit a mutation in BRCA1.

Breast Cancer In Families

If you or one of your close relatives has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have concerns about whether breast cancer runs in the family .

A small number of people have an increased risk of breast cancer because of their family history. However, most breast cancers are not inherited and do not increase the lifetime risk for other family members.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, so even if you have a relative with breast cancer, it doesnt necessarily mean youre more likely to develop it yourself.

Also Check: Is Stage 1 Breast Cancer Curable

What A Positive Result Means

If your predictive genetic test result is positive, it means you have a faulty gene that raises your risk of developing cancer.

It does not mean you are guaranteed to get cancer your genes only partly influence your future health risks. Other factors, such as your medical history, lifestyle and your environment, also play a role.

If you have one of the faulty BRCA genes, there is a 50% chance you will pass this on to any children you have and a 50% chance that each of your siblings also has it.

You may want to discuss your results with other members of your family, who may also be affected. Staff at the genetics clinic will discuss with you how a positive or negative result will affect your life and your relationships with your family.

You can read more about BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the beginner’s guide to BRCA1 and BRCA2 produced by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Insurance companies cannot ask you to disclose the results of predictive genetic tests for the majority of policies, but this may change in the future.

Support For People With Inherited Gene Mutations

Where To Get Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer ...

Some support groups are tailored to people with BRCA1, BRCA2 or other high-risk gene mutations and those with breast cancers related to inherited gene mutations.

Our Support section offers a list of resources to help find local and online support groups. For example, FORCE is an organization that offers online support for people at higher risk of breast, ovarian or other cancers related to family history or inherited gene mutations.

Sharsheret offers online support for Jewish women affected by hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN . All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at .
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each others experiences and build strong relationships to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for Komen Breast Cancer group to request to join the closed group.

Read Also: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Considerations When Conducting Genetic Testing

Indications for genetic testing

Several professional organizations and expert panels including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network , the American Society of Human Genetics, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists have developed clinical criteria and practice guidelines that can be helpful to health care providers in identifying individuals who may have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 pathogenic variant.

Other studies have also found that the NCCN criteria have good sensitivity when predicting BRCA1/BRCA2 variants however, less is known about many other genes. For example, one study showed that the NCCN criteria were able to detect 88.9% of the BRCA1/BRCA2 pathogenic variant carriers and others have found that, if more than one NCCN criterion is met, then the positive predictive value does pass the 10% threshold .

Benefits of offering genetic testing at the time of cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer diagnosis

Benefits of offering genetic testing at the time of breast cancer diagnosis include, but are not limited to, the following:

Ovarian cancer diagnosis

Benefits of offering genetic testing at the time of ovarian cancer diagnosis include, but are not limited to, the following:

Endometrial cancer diagnosis

Multigene testing


How Do I Get Tested For Brca And Other Genes

If your doctor finds that youre at risk for hereditary breast cancer, they will refer you to a genetics professional, such as a genetic counselor, for genetic evaluation and pre- and post-test genetic counseling. Then, your blood is drawn and sent to a clinical lab for genetic analysis.

A geneticist reads your blood test results and follows up with your provider. If you have a positive result, youll meet with your genetic counselor to discuss next steps for your care.

Also Check: How Do Doctors Treat Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Part of the current knowledge on breast carcinomas is based on in vivo and in vitro studies performed with cell lines derived from breast cancers. These provide an unlimited source of homogenous self-replicating material, free of contaminating stromal cells, and often easily cultured in simple standard media. The first breast cancer cell line described, BT-20, was established in 1958. Since then, and despite sustained work in this area, the number of permanent lines obtained has been strikingly low . Indeed, attempts to culture breast cancer cell lines from primary tumors have been largely unsuccessful. This poor efficiency was often due to technical difficulties associated with the extraction of viable tumor cells from their surrounding stroma. Most of the available breast cancer cell lines issued from metastatic tumors, mainly from pleural effusions. Effusions provided generally large numbers of dissociated, viable tumor cells with little or no contamination by fibroblasts and other tumor stroma cells.Many of the currently used BCC lines were established in the late 1970s. A very few of them, namely MCF-7, T-47D, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3, account for more than two-thirds of all abstracts reporting studies on mentioned breast cancer cell lines, as concluded from a Medline-based survey.

Metabolic markers

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  • Can I Upload And Use My Raw Data At Third

    VERIFY | Genetic impacts, looking for lumps, doctors dispel some breast cancer misconceptions

    Yes! Our Ultimate DNA Test and our Ultimate Genome Sequencing service include full access to your raw DNA data files so that you can easily access and use your data with other services.

    Whenever you order genetic testing through us, you own the data. You can download your DNA data at any time and, if you choose, upload your data to third-party sites, such as those that provide genetic genealogy and family tree services.

    Due to the enormous amount of DNA data provided by both of our tests, some third-party systems may be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude data and may have issues processing the data file. Because of this, weve developed a unique universally compatible DNA data file in txt format thats included as part of your genetic test results.

    This special universally compatible file is called the Ultimate Compatibility File’. We designed this file to be compatible with third-party DNA analysis and ancestry services including openSNP, WikiTree, GEDmatch and Promethease. Youll be able to upload and use your Ultimate Compatibility File with third-party sites that also accept uploads of DNA data from 23andMe.

    An Ultimate Compatibility File containing your raw DNA data is included with both our Ultimate DNA Test and our Ultimate Genome Sequencing service.

    Additional information

    Optimized for both universal compatibility and data analysis

    Read Also: Triple Negative Breast Cancer Brca

    If You Have A Family History Of Retinoblastoma

    Children who have a parent, or brother or sister, who had retinoblastoma should be checked for retinoblastoma. They usually have screening from birth to the age of 3 years. This involves regular eye examinations under a general anaesthetic. How often and how long a child has screening for depends on their level of risk.

    Some children might also have a blood test for the RB1 gene. This is only possible if the family member who has had retinoblastoma can be tested first.

    Read more about retinoblastoma.

    About 3,400 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year in the UK. There are a number of different types of thyroid cancer.

    Patient Samples And Data Collection

    Four hundred and sixty-four patients with early-onset breast cancer diagnosed between 1990 and 2015 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre were included in the study. Patients presenting with only ductal carcinoma in-situ were not included. Detailed clinico-pathological data, including follow-up data, were noted from case records and have been summarized in Table . Family history was collected from case records or by telephonic interview. 2019 World Health Organization classification of breast tumors was used to classify the histologic subtype of each breast tumor sample. Overall survival was defined as the length of time from the date of diagnosis, that patients diagnosed with the disease are still alive. As controls, we analyzed a cohort of 463 age and gender matched cancer-free individuals for whom exome sequencing data was available in local population database. All the individuals of the control cohort were of the same ethnicity. Institutional Review Board of KFSHRC provided ethical approval for the current study. Research Advisory Council granted waiver of informed consent for use of retrospective patient case data under project RAC# 2140 008. The patient samples were de-identified by assigning a unique number to each sample which could not be traced back to the individual patient. All the methods were carried out in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.

    Table 1 Clinico-pathological variables for the patient cohort

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    How Is Testing Done

    Genetic is performed by taking a sample of saliva. This can be collected by swabbing the inner cheek, and then the sample will be sent to a lab for genetic analysis.

    Several different mutations may be responsible for breast cancer. However, most tests look for one or a few possible mutations of the BRCA genes. Some extensive tests may look for more of the many different variants. However, this depends on the situation.

    For example, suppose an individual is having the testing performed because they have a family member that possesses a particularly known BRCA mutation. In that case, a test may be performed to look for this mutation. But, in most cases, these tests look for a few of the most prominent BRCA mutations associated with many cases.

    Autosomal Dominant Inheritance Of Breast And Gynecologic Cancer Predisposition

    Is Breast Cancer Hereditary?

    Autosomal dominant inheritance of breast and gynecologic cancers is characterized by transmission ofcancer predisposition from generation to generation, through either the mothers or the fathersside of the family, with the following characteristics:

    • Inheritance risk of 50%. When a parent carries an autosomal dominant genetic predisposition, each child has a 50:50 chance of inheriting the predisposition. Although the risk of inheriting the predisposition is 50%, not everyone with the predisposition will develop cancer because of incomplete penetrance and/or gender-restricted or gender-related expression.
    • Both males and females can inherit and transmit an autosomal dominant cancer predisposition. A male who inherits a cancer predisposition can stillpass the altered gene on to his sons and daughters.

    Germline pathogenic variants in the genes responsible for these autosomal dominant cancer syndromes produce different clinical phenotypes of characteristic malignancies and, in some instances, associated nonmalignant abnormalities.

    The family characteristics that suggest hereditary cancer predisposition include the following:

    Figure 1 and Figure 2 depict some of the classic inheritance features of a BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variant, respectively. Figure 3 depicts a classic family with Lynch syndrome.

    % risk of carrying MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 pathogenic variant

    Also Check: How Successful Is Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer

    Mutation Validation By Pcr And Sanger Sequencing

    To validate the mutations identified by Capture sequencing technology, Primer 3 software was used to design the primers for each mutation . PCR was performed in a total volume of 25 µl with 20 ng of genomic DNA, 2.5 µl 10 x Taq buffer, 2.3 mM dNTPs, 1 unit Taq polymerase and 0.2 µM each primer and de-ionized water. The efficiency and quality of the amplified PCR products was confirmed by loading them on a 2% agarose gel.

    For Sanger sequencing, the PCR products were subsequently subjected to direct sequencing with BigDye terminator V 3.1 cycle sequencing reagents and analyzed on an ABI 3730XL DNA analyzer . Reference sequences were downloaded from NCBI GenBank. Sequencing traces were analyzed with the Mutation Surveyor v4.04 .

    Risk Factors For Endometrial Cancer

    Refer to the PDQ summary on Endometrial Cancer Prevention for information about risk factors for endometrial cancer in the general population.


    Age is an important risk factor for endometrial cancer. Most women with endometrial cancer are diagnosed after menopause. Only 15% of women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer before age 50 years, and fewer than 5% are diagnosed before age 40 years. Women with Lynch syndrome tend to develop endometrial cancer at an earlier age, with the median age at diagnosis of 48 years.

    Family history including inherited cancer genes

    Although the hyperestrogenic state is the most common predisposing factor for endometrial cancer, family history also plays a significant role in a womans risk for disease. Approximately 3% to 5% of uterine cancer cases are attributable to a hereditary cause, with the main hereditary endometrial cancer syndrome being Lynch syndrome, an autosomal dominant genetic condition with a population prevalence of 1 in 300 to 1 in 1,000 individuals.

    Reproductive history

    Reproductive factors such as multiparity, late menarche, and early menopause decrease the risk of endometrial cancer because of the lower cumulative exposure to estrogen and the higher relative exposure to progesterone.


    Read Also: What Is A Malignant Neoplasm Of The Breast

    Genetic Testing For Predisposition To Breast Cancer

    Genetic testing as part of breast cancer risk assessment in patients who have early-onset breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer raises a number of scientific, clinical, social, and legal issues. Potential benefits include a more accurate risk assessment for these patients and their families, with the possibility of early detection or prevention in mutation carriers. Reassurance may be offered to women found not to have inherited the mutation linked with breast cancer in their family. In addition, clinical research studies involving young women known to be at high risk for developing breast cancer will be important to define better screening techniques and to determine the effectiveness of various preventive strategies. These potential benefits must be weighed against the possible harm from genetic testing, including the risk of discrimination in health insurance and in the workplace on the basis of test results. Genetic testing for cancer predisposition also raises important social and psychological issues, including depression, feelings of guilt, and complex relationships among family members, that must be specifically addressed through genetic and psychological counseling.

    How Testing Can Help If Youve Already Been Diagnosed

    Breast Cancer Genetics: Essentials of What You Absolutely Need to Know

    If youve been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor may recommend genetic testing depending upon your age at diagnosis, your family history, what type of breast cancer you have and other factors.

    However, some organizations, including the American Society of Breast Surgeons, say testing should be made available to all women after a breast cancer diagnosis regardless of family history and cancer subtype and a growing number of physicians are offering patients the choice. The genetic testing would be in addition to biopsy results that reveal which type of cancer you have or a tumor-profiling test that looks for specific mutations in tumor cells.

    Genetic testing can help you and your health care provider make decisions about treatment. If you need chemotherapy, for example, your test results can help determine which specific drugs the tumor is most likely to respond to. And women with some gene mutations can benefit from a new type of medication called PARP inhibitors. Personalized medicine this is really what were moving towards, Larsen Haidle says.

    A positive test result may also influence a womans decision about surgery.

    Take Ellen Rostker, 59, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in her left breast in late 2020. Both her oncologist and her surgeon recommended genetic testing before her surgery.

    Im so glad I had the testing because it made my surgery decision so much easier, Rostker says.

    Read Also: What Is Stage 3a Breast Cancer


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