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Is breast cancer hereditary?

90-95% of breast cancers not associated with BRCA mutations. According to world statistics, about 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have any specific risk factors.

Is breast cancer hereditary?

Hereditary breast cancer – a cancer caused by a genetic mutation and manifested increased risk of developing malignant mammary tumors in blood relatives. Different from sporadic neoplasia earlier start, a large number of bilateral lesions and the frequent combinations with neoplasms of other organs. Is diagnosed based on family history data, molecular and genetic analysis and research tools. In the presence of predisposition regular check-UPS, according to testimony, is prophylactic mastectomy. Treatment – surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy.

Hereditary breast cancer – a disease accompanied by the increase of the probability of occurrence of malignant neoplasms of the breast due to genetic mutation, passed on from generation to generation. Is one of the most common hereditary forms of cancer. Is from 5 to 10% of the total number of neoplasia of the breast. Characterized by frequent early-onset (under 50 years). The prevalence of bilateral lesions with different mutations ranges from 5-20% to 60%.



In hereditary breast cancer there is a high likelihood of developing other tumors, including ovarian cancer, endometrium, colon, stomach, pancreas and bladder, and melanoma of the skin. If you have one close relative suffering from the disease, the risk of neoplasia is increased in two times, two cases of breast cancer in the family – five times. The probability of developing neoplasms increases even more if one or more relative symptoms of the disease appeared before the age of 50 years. Treatment carried out by experts in the field of Oncology and mammology.

Causes of hereditary breast cancer

Specialists a number of known genetic mutations that increase the likelihood of breast cancer. In the literature often referred to mutations of suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. The relationship of these genes with tumors of this organ was well established in 1994. Carried out researches have allowed to increase the level of early diagnostics of hereditary breast cancer and became the basis for further research in this area. Subsequently, scientists were able to detect that these genes are detected only in 20-30% of patients with familial cases of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.



In the remaining patients the disease provoked by other mutations in different regions of the planet is dominated by different genetic anomalies. Along with the increased probability of developing hereditary breast cancer defective genes can increase the risk of other malignancies, most often – mentioned ovarian cancer. Some are less patients there is a tumor of the endometrium, and rarely – neoplasia organs that are not part of the female reproductive system.

There are a number of risk factors causing hereditary breast cancer in carriers of the defective gene. Among these factors are early menarche (frequent in this pathology), late onset of menopause, no pregnancies and childbirth, prolonged hormonal therapy, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, Smoking, alcohol abuse, presence of benign proliferative changes in breast tissue and certain diseases of the female genital organs.

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Symptoms of hereditary breast cancer

In the early stages of hereditary breast cancer are asymptomatic. Sometimes the first symptoms become pain in the breast (in the presence of mastitis) and intense pain during menstruation. As a rule, the tumor is detected before the occurrence of the developed clinical picture. Perhaps as a self-identifying node (random or in the process of self -), and suspected cancer in conducting another survey.

With the progression of hereditary breast cancer there is discharge from the nipple. Increase the axillary lymph nodes on the affected side. The skin over the tumor becomes wrinkled, identify umbilicaria and positive "sign area". Subsequently observed progressive deformation of the organ and the symptom of "lemon peel". Possible ulceration. In the later stages of hereditary breast cancer to the manifestations of the primary neoplasm with dysfunction of various organs due to distant metastasis, and overall symptoms of cancer: disorders of appetite, weight loss, hyperthermia.

There are marked differences for hereditary breast cancer caused by different genetic mutations. Tumors found in women carriers of the BRCA1 gene, are characterized by a high degree of malignancy. Cancer associated with BRCA2 mutations, occurs more favorably in comparison with sporadic cases. The distinguishing feature of all forms of hereditary breast cancer is a high probability of contralateral lesions and recurrent tumors in the same breast after breast conserving surgery holding. For comparison, the average incidence of local recurrent malignancy in sporadic cancer is 1-1,5% per year. In hereditary breast cancer contralateral tumors detected in 42%, ipsilateral – 49% of patients.

Diagnosis and treatment of hereditary breast cancer

The diagnosis is based on family history, results of molecular genetic studies and data of additional examination. Genetic analysis is performed after identifying family medical history signs of hereditary breast cancer (presence of the disease in close relatives, early initiation, high frequency of bilateral lesions). In case of positive result of the analysis regularly designate a mammogram. During the formation of the node, carry out breast ultrasound, ductography, MRI and other diagnostic procedures. If you suspect the presence of distant metastases carry out chest x-ray, scintigraphy of the whole skeleton, liver ultrasound, brain MRI and other studies.

Traditionally in hereditary breast cancer used the standard scheme, formulated with a higher probability of recurrence. However, in recent years the literature increasingly, there are indications for the use of special therapeutic programs that are tailored to the sensitivity of hereditary breast cancer associated with various genetic anomalies. Thus, patients with a defect in BRCA1 because of the low efficiency is not recommended to assign means from the group of taxanes. With a hereditary breast cancer mutation BRCA2 successfully used cisplatin – a drug that is not included in the standard scheme of treatment of breast cancer, but successfully used in the treatment of tumors of other localizations. To reduce the frequency of relapses even in the early stages perform a radical mastectomy, not organ surgery.

Measures for the prevention and timely detection of hereditary breast cancer include avoiding harmful habits, regular saloonmore and inspections specialist. The main instrumental method used for screening is mammography, however, in recent years, provided that it is increasingly replaced by MRI, which excludes the irradiation of the patient. At high risk of developing hereditary breast cancer (over 25%) perform preventive bilateral mastectomy, sometimes in combination with oophorectomy.

There are no organs in the human body that are not needed.

Breast cancer in the early stages of the disease is quite curable. For decades, the incidence of breast cancer in rich countries grew faster than poor countries. In the lifestyle of women in developed countries so increases the likelihood of development of this disease compared to women in parts of South-East Asia and Africa, where the incidence of the disease is usually five times lower?

This may be associated with overweight and alcohol consumption. Blood overweight women higher levels of estrogen because fat cells produce estrogen which stimulates the growth of most cancers of the breast. Alcohol is also associated with an increased level of hormones in the blood, which may be the mechanism by which it increases the risk of breast cancer in women.

It is also shown that the risk factors for breast cancer hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives, which are sources of estrogen.

Yet, there is more evidence that the factor of occurrence of breast cancer is shift work associated with the violation of the daily regime!

Of course, I want to find a cure for breast cancer, but it is better to prevent breast cancer in cases where this is possible.

Take care of yourself and be healthy!

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