Understanding the genetic risk of cancer.
Looking at me, you wouldn’t think I have much in common with Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie. But you’d be wrong. We both carry a BRCA gene mutation, giving us a high risk of developing the cancers that killed our mothers and grandmothers.
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 human genes normally produce proteins that prevent tumors. But when these genes change, or mutate, they can lose the ability to repair damaged DNA. Women who have inherited these genetic mutations have a much higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Men also have an increased risk of breast and prostate cancers. And men and women both have a greater chance of getting melanoma and pancreatic cancers.
My mother, grandmother and my mother’s aunt were all diagnosed with breast cancer in their mid-40s. My mother died at 59 of pancreatic cancer. At least eight members of Jolie’s family have been diagnosed with a cancer that’s likely linked to the BRCA1 mutation, including her mother, grandmother and aunt.
Read Full Article: Is cancer in your DNA? – CNET
|Read Full Article: Is cancer in your DNA? – CNET|