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“One in every ten women in the United States will develop breast cancer sometime during her life”. (Breast Care). More than six percent of these cases are linked to hereditary. There are many measures that can be taken to detect breast cancer early in its stages. Women who believe they have a higher risk should have the breast cancer gene testing.
In order for a woman to consider her case of breast cancer to be hereditary, she must contain either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation in her genetic make up. Hundreds of mutations have been found in both genes and almost all of the mutations identified are primitive mutations found in only a single family. Most of the mutations result in a miss-formed protein product; thus the nature of these mutations is easily interpreted. Two successive acquired mutations occurring in a single cell are necessary for the development of cancer. Mutations anywhere along either gene are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. (Transmed Network-Breast Cancer-Characteristics of Hereditary Breast Cancer, 1997).
More than six hundred different mutations have been identified on the BRCA1 gene. (Gene Clinics, 2000). The number of mutations found on the BRCA1 gene is different than those found on the BRCA 2 gene. The prevalence of cancer predisposing BRCA1 mutations in the general population is estimated to be between one out of five hundred and one out of a thousand cases. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations indicate that elevated breast cancer risks begin in the late twenties and early thirties. Doctors normally recommend that women began yearly mammograms at the age of fifty. If the gene can be detected as early as the age of twenty, women should take advantage of the extra precaution and have the test done in addition to the mammograms to prevent late diagnosis of cancer. (Gene Clinics, 2000).
Virtually all individuals with a cancer predisposing mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have inherited it from a parent. (Gene Clinics, 2000). The parent may or may not have had a cancer diagnosis depending upon the penetrance of the mutation, the gender of the parent, the age of the parent with mutation and other variables. It is appropriate to offer mutation analysis to both parents of an individual with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 cancer predisposing mutation. (Gene ...

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...nbsp; Genetic mutation testing has become another easy way for women to detect breast cancer early. A woman will never truly know if she will definitely develop breast cancer. Test such as genetic mutation testing will definitely help in early detection and prevention against spreading.

Works Cited

Gene Clinics. (March 4, 2000). BRCA1 and BRCA2 Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved November 19, 2000 from the World Wide Web: Http://www.geneclinics.org/profiles/brca1/

National Action Plan on Breast Cancer. (September 5, 1996). State of the Science on Hereditary Breast Cancer and Genetic Testing. Retrieved November 19, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.napbc.org/napbc/state.htm

Transmed Network. (1997). Breast Cancer-Characteristics of Hereditary Breast Cancer. Retrieved November 19, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.breastdiseases.com/genebr3.htm

Transmed Network. (1997). Breast Cancer-Genetic Epidemiology. Retrieved November 19, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.breastdiseases.com/genebr2.htm

Transmed Network. (1997). Hereditary Breast Cancer. Retrieved November 19, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.breastdiseases.com/genebr1.htm
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