Genetic Causes of Breast Cancer and Other Cancers
There is the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic mutations that can cause breast cancer. If you have a family history of breast, ovarian cancer, or even men getting breast cancer, report it to you physician. There is a specific test for this gene. If a family carries this gene they may have prostate cancer in the family as well.
There is the DES cause which is when mothers were given this drug to prevent a miscarriage. The mother may get breast cancer or maybe even her daughter.
Li-Fraumeni Syndrome is a very rare genetic condition from the TP53 gene. Families can get sarcomas in various body parts, and they can exhibit breast cancer lung cancer, brain tumors, adrenal gland cancer, or even leukemia in these families. We ae starting to hear a lot about the 53 gene.
There is the RET gene that causes medullary thyroid cancer. I have known a few folks with this cancer in my life time.
There is Lynch Syndrome that is a hereditary cause of colon cancer. There are variations to this that cause skin or brain tumors in family.
There is a MEN syndrome that can cause cancers of the endocrine system.
There is the Von Hippel-Lindau Disease (VHL gene) which can cause growths in the blood vessels, increase risk to kidney and other cancers.
Cowden Sydrome is from the PTEN gene: Breast and uterine cancer can develop in families. Also there is an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
Genetic Cancers are rare and make up 5-10% of the cancers. A family history is a good indicator of various types of cancer. Know what all your relatives died from and what diseases they had.
Just because one parent has the genetic mutation, it doesn’t mean you will get the gene. There is a 50/50 chance of getting the same gene from both parents. There are genetic counselors that sit down with you and go over these details at clinics. You need to bring your family story and detailed information. Where can you get this information? Family members, death certificates, medical records are often good sources.