Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Jenna A. Everson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Holly Westmoreland, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.   
    • 04 NOV 14
    Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer

    Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer

    Screening for breast cancer is an important part of preventative healthcare. Usually, these screenings do not occur until a woman reaches her forties. However, there are circumstances that merit earlier detection. Women who have had multiple family members diagnosed with breast cancer at young ages are encouraged to have screenings earlier. Breast cancer can be inherited, and it is important for women to know their risk for breast cancer. Genetic testing for breast cancer markers is vital to early detection and treatment. Early detection can lead to more treatment options. With technology today, there are a variety of treatment options available, including surgery offered by the daVinci robot system. The Woodlands OBGYN Associates offers one of the least invasive treatment options available known as the daVinci robot surgery system.

    Genes Related to Breast Cancer

    Hereditary breast as well as ovarian cancer syndrome, or HBOC, is an inherited cancer-susceptibility syndrome. Usually, those susceptible to this syndrome have had multiple family members diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer at an early age. Those patients that are at a high risk for hereditary breast cancer can undergo genetic testing for the genes associated with breast cancer. These genes are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. They can be found through germline mutation tests by collecting small samples of blood or saliva. BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are genes that produce proteins that suppress tumors. These proteins aid in repairing damaged DNA, and they offer stability for the genetic material of a cell. If either of these particular genes becomes mutated, meaning that it does not function properly, then the protein, in turn, will not function properly. Without properly functioning proteins, these genetic alterations can lead to cancer.

    Inherited Breast Cancer Genes

    There are specific inherited breast cancer genes. These genes can be inherited from a mother or a father. These are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes increase the risk of female breast cancer as well as ovarian cancers. They are also associated with additional cancers. These genes are responsible for about 20-25% of breast cancer that is considered inherited, as well as 5-10% of all breast cancers. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are also responsible for fifteen percent of ovarian cancers. Due to the high risk associated with these genes, it is imperative that women be screened for these potential mutations in order to set up an aggressive treatment plan.

    Today’s technology allows for early detection of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer. It is important for women with a history of breast cancer in their family to seek breast cancer screenings early. Genetic testing is available for the breast cancer genes that will allow for early detection and preventative treatment measures. Not all treatments are invasive, and we at the Woodlands OBGYN Associates are pleased to have the daVinci robot system to assist in surgical procedures. This robot system allows for safe, minimally invasive surgeries to screen for and treat breast cancer. With early detection and aggressive treatment planning breast cancer can be managed effectively and successfully. Contact us today to learn more about breast cancer early detection.