Essay on Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes Play a Role in Cancer

Essay on Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes Play a Role in Cancer

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There are two main types of genes that play a role in cancer: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Proto-oncogenes are regular genes that can become oncogenes if mutated and an oncogene is a gene that can lead to a tumor when mutated because it causes cells to divide unrestrainedly (Heidi 2008). On the contrary, tumor-suppressor genes slow down cell division. When tumor-suppressor genes do not function properly, cells can grow as rapidly as an oncogene (Heidi 2008). Tumor-suppressor genes involve the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are found in breast cells (Klugar & Park 2013). Certain mutations in each can increase the risk of ovarian or pancreatic cancer (Klugar & Park 2013).
Most breast cancers are inherited, but they can also be acquired. Unlike proto-oncogenes, the American Cancer Society’s article on cancer states that most of the tumor-suppressor gene mutations are acquired instead of inherited. Acquired mutations of the TP53 gene code for the p53 protein and they appear in a variety of cancers, such as lung and breast cancer ("Oncogenes, tumor suppressor," 2011). Cells with damaged DNA continue to divide and eventually leading to cancer if the gene for the p53 protein is not properly functioning ("Oncogenes, tumor suppressor," 2011).
The risk of having breast cancer increases when there is a family history of breast cancer. For example, a woman who has a sister or mother with breast cancer is more likely to develop the disease herself because the genetic mutation is inherited (Klugar & Park 2013). According to the American Cancer Society, 5% to 10% of all cancers are from hereditary mutations. This means that some people are more likely to develop cancer than others because they are born with mutations in their genes.

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...rease to save her own life and that is by having a double mastectomy. But before having a double mastectomy, a woman should consider trying different cancer preventions and if they do not have much affect, then rely on prophylactic surgery as a final option.
If one of my family members found out that she had an increased risk of breast cancer, then I would recommend for her to try the anticancer drug tamoxifen first to see how much it reduces her risk. If there were not much of a decrease, then I would recommend prophylactic mastectomy because it gradually reduces the risk of developing cancer. The National Cancer Institute states that prophylactic mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer by at least 95% in women who have an acquired mutation in the BCRA1 ore BCRA2 gene and by 90% in women who have a family history of breast cancer ("Surgery to reduce," 2013).

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