Breast Cancer Genes To Predict Risk

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Polish scientists have found out in their study that certain genes can help predict the risk of woman in developing breast cancer in later life. They call the gene “CHEK2” mutation and such gene gives a woman about 34% risk of developing breast cancer if the mother or sister also has the disease. This study, according to Polish scientists is not conclusive yet to an extent that every woman should have a CHEK2 screening.

Currently, women who are at risk for breast and ovarian cancers are encouraged to take the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to identify tumor risks. According to researchers of the CHEK2 genes, about 7,500 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer are found to have NO BRCA1 nor BRCA2 gene, whereas three percent of these women have CHEK2 gene.

CHEK2 mutations screening if researched into with further studies, can be an effective means of screening breast cancer risks. From the findings alone, the presence of CHEK2 gives a woman 20% of getting breast cancer. The risk jumps to 34% when a parent or sibling suffers from the disease and further to 44% when a second degree relative also suffers from it. This means that a more accurate screening can become a standard in undergoing prophylactic treatments to prevent growth of tumors. The tests, according to the American College of Medical Genetics, mentioned that these tests may be available in less than a hundred dollars each.

Meanwhile, here are important things which can help a woman identify the presence of breast lumps:

-          Perform self-breast examinations after shower at a fixed date and time each month. This allows you to feel the presence of lumps and compare the appearance and feel of your breasts each succeeding month.

-          Undergo clinical breast examinations regularly. CBEs can be helpful because this is performed by health professionals.

-          Have a mammogram yearly. This is most important especially when you reach the age of forty or fifty because this is the time when hormonal changes are happening. Development of tumors can happen anytime during these years so it is just right to have yourself checked yearly.

-          Take note of the color and texture of your breasts. Be sure to be mindful of any rash, redness or peeling. Also ensure that you check whether there are discharges from your nipples.

-          If you feel any pain in your breasts, it best to consult your physician to have yourself checked.

Current treatments available for breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While early prevention can greatly increase the prognosis of women with breast cancer, it is still ideal to prevent these diseases from happening. Screening tests such as BRCA1 and 2, as well as CHEK2 are important because these can make a woman become more cautious and act immediately before any tumor starts to prop up.

The study, according to Dr. Evans, Editor in Chief of the American College of Medical Genetics Journal, is a nice start. It is a platform where all other geneticists and oncologists may look into, with the intention of developing more accurate screening tests for cancer risks.

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