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Breast cancer closely related to BRCA1/2 gene

1. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor with the highest incidence among Chinese females

512: daily number of people diagnosed with breast cancer in China.

131: daily number of people who die of breast cancer inChina.

More than two-fold: growth rate of breast cancer morbidity in China and around the world; particularly in urban areas.

45-55: average age when Chinese females are diagnosed with breast cancer; earlier than females in western countries.


2. Mutation of BRCA1/2 gene causes higher risk of breast cancer

Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the genes in human genome that produce tumor suppressor proteins. If the specific locus of BRCA1/2 gene changes, its tumor suppressor protein changes accordingly, and normal DNA repair function is limited. As a result, cells tend to accumulate harmful DNA damage, which eventually leads to occurrence of cancer.

 

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3. Breast cancer patients carrying BRCA1/2 mutant gene are more likely to experience cancer recurrence

According to results of retrospective studies at a single center, the risk of breast cancer recurrence on the same side and opposite side for the group with BRCA1/2 mutant gene differs significantly from that for the group without mutant gene.


4. BRCA1/2 gene and familial inheritance of breast cancer

Breast cancer caused by BRCA1/2 gene mutation exhibits the tendency of familial aggregation. If one party of both parents carries gene mutation, the mutation is 50% likely to entail the offspring.


If a breast cancer patient is found to have BRCA1/2 gene mutation, the close relatives of the patient should take BRCA1/2 gene test to know if they are also carriers of BRCA1/2 gene mutation. This helps choose targeted risk control schemes.


Content of the test

BRCA1/BRCA2

Gene sequencing technique is adopted to comprehensively detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 (16,000 basic groups in total) for hereditary mutation related to breast cancer.


Significance of the test

1. Significance for breast cancer patients:

1) Identifying gene mutation carrying status of breast cancer patients;

2) Providing reference for evaluating breast cancer patients’ risks of recurrence;

3) Providing reference for determining whether relatives of breast cancer patients face risks of breast cancer. 


2. After being detected as carriers of BRCA1/2 mutant gene, ordinary people can take many methods to control the risk of breast cancer. 

1) Physical checkup: If one starts physical screening of breast cancer earlier than others and receives such screening more frequently, the chances of detecting breast cancer at an early stage are higher, and therefore timely treatment is possible;

2) Chemical prophylaxis: refers to the technique of using medications that lower risks of cancer and delay cancer recurrence;

3) Preventive operation: operation during which the most possible tissues at risk are removed. This minimizes risks of cancer occurrence.


 

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