This Article is About
cell replication
gene mutations
genetic predisposition
dna repair
breast cancer
mortality rates
Hereditary Breast And Ovarian Cancer
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Breast and ovarian cancer is one of the most common cancer that is diagnosed and prevalent in women today. It can affect women of every age, race and ethnic group. Based on the studies done in Germany each year around 60,000 women find they have breast cancer and another 9,000 will end up having ovarian cancer. Carcinoma accounts for 20% of the cases diagnosed each year. It is important to recognize that some trends in breast cancer are based on factors like age, sex, ethnicity, environment, and genetic predisposition that can show correlation in incidence and mortality rates.

As with many other diseases age is a factor, the risk of breast cancer goes up as women grow older. Women with family history who have had breast cancer have a higher risk, especially if relatives are sister, mother, or daughter the risk is doubled.Genetics also plays a big role where inherited genes increases cancer risk such as certain gene mutations passed from parents to children.

Such genes include BRAC1/BRAC2 and as well RAD51C. These genes play key role in DNA repair and cell replication, but in the case of cancer these gene can carry mutation that can increase the risk. This in part can influence other key proteins involved in the development of cancer and tumor genes. BRCA1/BRCA2 play a function as tumor suppressor genes mutations that play a key role in repairing DNA that have double strand breaks. Harmful mutations to these genes disable their critical function in the body. The cancer risks caused by mutation are inherited by a dominant trait from either parents and are able to be passed on to others. Individuals carrying this mutation have a higher risk of developing breast-ovarian cancer. RAD51C is a gene that is critical in repairing DNA damage and in cell division. Like BRCA1/BRCA2, RAD51C is also considered a risk factor and has been classified recently as predisposing gene and suggest its possible role in tumor formation.

Studies from the German Consortium showed that those that had BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation had a risk of 80% to 90% in breast cancer and 20% to 50% in ovarian cancer. Generally, cancer treatments can include one or a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or hormonal therapy. The success of each type of therapy is dependent on the location of the cancer, and the classification of the cancer.

Chemotherapy means using drugs to kill the cancer cells and can affect the majority of the body. Many chemotherapy drugs are tailored to target cells that have a high rate of cell growth. This means that there are many possible side effects, since cells in the GI tract, blood, mouth or skin have a high rate of growth as well. Radiation therapy is a more localized treatment that is particularly harmful to rapidly dividing cells. It is often used in conjunction with surgery to reduce the size of the tumor before it is taken out. Hormonal therapy can be used to inhibit the action of hormones that contribute to cancer growth. Recently more promising treatments like the PARP inhibitor AZD2281 which has been effective for those with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation.

With much in the research field of cancer, breast-ovarian cancer is most prevalent to show up in woman. Much discovery has been found such as mutation in the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene that plays critical roles in breast-ovarian cancer. With that it can help further in developing more effective treatments in fighting cancer.


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