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Breast Cancer MAY BE HEREDITARY

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide with nearly 522000 deaths and 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. Routine checkup for susceptible individuals and early diagnosis can dramatically improve the time required for complete cure.

The inherited form of breast cancer is more deadly than spontaneous incidence.

Our genetic tests for breast cancer provides useful insights into:

    • Identification of potential personalized risks for developing breast cancer.
    • Awareness about the disorders and identification of early symptoms..
    • Guideline-specific cancer risk management recommendations for patients and their families
    • Formulation of specific diet and lifestyle strategies for better health.
    • Personalized medication and dosage

Worldwide, the most common cancer among women is breast cancer and its the second leading cause of death by cancer among them. It comes in various types and forms. The only difference lies in their capability of spreading to other body tissues.

Breast cancer occurs when a malignant tumor, i.e a collection of cancerous cell which may multiply uncontrollably and may also start spreading to various parts of the body and tissue. Unbeknownst to many, it can also affect men. There may be non-cancerous tumors too which do not spread and may be easily removed by surgery. Some of the genetic mutations that make normal breast cells cancerous are acquired as a result of lifestyle factors or environmental exposures, but up to 10% of breast cancers are estimated to be inherited.

Prevalence

According to the American Cancer Society, 266.120 women will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2018, and about 40920 deaths in women will happen from breast cancer.A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 and 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018 in US.

Though white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American, Hispanic and Asian women, there is more to the story. African American women are more likely to develop a more aggressive form of breast cancer at a younger age. Compared to white women, both Hispanic and African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer.

The people having mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 have shown to affect the women at earlier ages than average. It is recommended that screenings for such cases must start at ages 20-25 years.

Risk factors and Symptoms

Though there is a combination of risk factors related to the disease, one may  get breast cancer even without having any risk factor well publicised.

It is true that breast cancer affects women aged 50 and above mostly, but the risk does begin after age 40. The fact is surprising but it can affect women aged as low as 25. What you can do is talk to your doctor to know how you can lower your risk.

Some of the risk factors in females resulting in breast cancers are:

  • Early menstruation
  • Late or no pregnancy
  • Late menopause
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Weight gain after menopause
  • Dense breast tissues
  • Use of hormones and oral contraceptives
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer or other breast diseases
  • Exposure to radiation therapy
  • Alcohol consumption
  • A certain percentage of men may also get breast cancers, incidence being highest at the age group of 60-70.

Emotional benefits

Testing negative for genetic mutations  can bring a sense of relief about the risk of breast and ovarian cancer for the patient and her family.

If the test result is positive i.e.  a gene  mutation that increases risk is found, the results still may bring a sense of relief. The patient may know why one or a few family members developed breast or ovarian cancer.

For many people suddenly getting to learn that she has got the disease is much stressful than complete ignorance of risks.

Risk lowering actions may be adopted for positive cases

Enhanced Screening. The women who got positive reports for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations may be guided to start breast cancer screening at younger ages, and/or have more frequent screening, than women at average risk of breast cancer.This may allow detection onset of the breast cancer at a very early stage and ensure quick treatment.

 

Chemoprevention.Several drugs have been proven successful for lowering the risk of breast cancer. A positive report may help a physician to take such measures.Examples of these drugs include tamoxifen and raloxifene which have also been approved by FDA.

Prophylactic surgical procedures may also be prescribed the doctor.

Benefits for family members

Getting genetic testing and if a positive result is found out, the person may  share the  test results with family members who may benefit from genetic testing. It gives the adult children and other family members the option of getting genetic testing to clarify their own risks of cancer.

Since all the family members do not share the risks, one may get to know if he or she is carrying the same mutation or not.

Men who test positive for an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are considered to be at higher-than-average risk for prostate cancer. They can consult their doctors about beginning screenings, physical examinations or antigen related tests.

We prefer a non-invasive sampling approach. Just two ml of your saliva deposited in a specialized collector at the ease of your home will do.

Our state of the art labs decode your personal genome and compares with the standard to look the variations.

All variations may not relate to a disease.Pathogenic variations are meticulously identified by our team of scientists.

All technical jargons simplified into an easy to understand report.

Our friendly genetic counsellor explains the report to you and answers your doubts if any

If any risk is identified, you may talk to a physician to work out a health plan of suitable alteration of a lifestyle, regular screening program and others.

Remember, awareness to a disease susceptibility is the first step to prevent or manage it.

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