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KEEP A BREAST FOUNDATION

WTF?! Is the BRCA Gene?

brca1gene You probably get asked this all the time but what’s up with the BRCA gene I keep hearing so much about? The thing with Angelina Jolie freaked me out and I want to get tested but want to educate myself first. Can you help? Hi! Yes, good for you for wanting to educate yourself! First and foremost, the names BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and breast cancer susceptibility gene 2, respectively. The simplest way to explain it is that BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that help to repair damaged DNA or destroy cells if DNA can’t be rebuilt. Mutation of these genes has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and mutated genes can and do get passed down from generation to generation. Which is why having a blood test done that tests for the gene mutation is a good thing. The most important thing I can say is to know your family history. The chances of getting breast cancer with a harmful mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are higher in families with multiple cases of breast cancer. However, not every woman in such a family carries a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, and not every cancer in such families is linked to a harmful mutation in one of these genes. Furthermore, not every woman who has a harmfulBRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will develop breast and/or ovarian cancer. Having this information and educating yourself you can then dive back into your family history and if so, choose to be tested for the gene mutation. Here is a very helpful link on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene information, including inforamtion on gene mutation!  

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