Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesity , lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol , hormone replacement therapy during menopause , ionizing radiation , early age at first menstruation , having children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer, and family history. The balance of benefits versus harms of breast cancer screening is controversial. A Cochrane review stated that it is unclear if mammographic screening does more good or harm. Outcomes for breast cancer vary depending on the cancer type, the extent of disease , and the person's age. The first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue.
Genetic Testing for Inherited Cancer Susceptibility Syndromes
'Breast Cancer Genes': How Much Do They Increase Cancer Risk? | Live Science
Women who carry genetic mutations in the "breast cancer genes," called BRCA1 and BRCA2, have about a 70 percent chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes, according to a new study. The findings are based on an analysis of nearly 10, women with mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene , mutations that are known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The new study is more rigorously designed than some earlier research that looked at how much the risk for these cancers increases in women who have these genetic mutations. But the new study also found that breast cancer risk in women with these mutations could vary — by as much as twofold — depending on whether the women had specific mutations within their genes.
Predictive genetic tests for cancer risk genes
People who inherit mutations in these genes are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population. The BRCA gene test is offered to those who are likely to have an inherited mutation based on personal or family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer. The BRCA gene test isn't routinely performed on people at average risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Having a mother with breast cancer increases the chance that you could also develop the disease. While most breast cancer is actually not hereditary, it is valuable to know if you have family members who were ever diagnosed with the disease. Women who have a mother, sister, or daughter who developed breast cancer at a young age premenopausal have double the risk of the disease compared to those who don't have this family history. With new genetic testing techniques, breast cancer genes can be identified even before the disease develops.