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BRCA gene question

(4 Posts)
Sharonforce Wed 06-Feb-13 14:56:03

I have the BRCA 1 genetic mutation (and I also run a support group for those affected).

Breast and ovarian cancer can be caused by changes in genes called 'hereditary mutations'. These gene changes can be passed down from the mother or the father to daughters or sons and cause cancer to run in the family. If you or any family member has had:

~ ovarian or fallopian tube cancer at any age
~ breast cancer at age 50 or younger
~ breast cancer in both breasts at any age
~ both breast and ovarian cancer
~ male breast cancer

and if more than one family member on the same side of the family has had any of these cancers:

~ breast cancer
~ ovarian or fallopian tube cancer
~ prostate cancer
~ pancreatic cancer

then you should see your GP and ask to be referred to a genetic counsellor. For more info see

Macmillan also have a useful tool on their website where you can assess your risk:

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

digerd Tue 05-Feb-13 18:11:07

I watched a TV documentary on this. A family of sisters did get breast cancer, but one didn't. She had the gene test in her 50s+ and they found she too had it. BUT, even if you have it, the odds still are good that you will not get it. Nobody can tell you for sure as they do not know why some get it and some don't even with the same gene and in the same family. I think the odds were 20% of those who have a breast cancer gene do not get it.
Ovarian cancer is not so common as breast cancer, but the survival rates are worse as more difficult to diagnose in the treatable stages. Do not know if an Ovarian cancer gene has been discovered.

bonzo77 Tue 05-Feb-13 15:01:58

There are more than one BRCA genes. They are present in bother and women and can increase the risk of various cancers in both. If there is a strong family history of cancers, that is several cases across closely related generations then this suggests an inherited factor. You can only inherit was your parents carry. Just because an individual carries a gene does not mean it will be "expressed". Really the only way to know is to be tested. If you go down this route you need counselling as it opens a whole can of worms if you are positive, eg who passed it on to you and who you will/ might pass it on to.

welshmammy2009 Tue 05-Feb-13 14:18:34

Hi was just wondering if I am at increased risk of inheriting BRCA gene. My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 56 and my nan (dads side) was diagnosed with breast cancer in her late 50's/ early 60's.
No one else on my mums side of family have been diagnosed with breast/ovarian cancer and on my dads side of the family there are no other female relatives.


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