Breast cancer information has never been more widespread, but knowing how to separate fact from fiction isn’t easy. So we were thrilled to own Dr. Elisa Port on the expose with us. Dr. Port is director of the Dubin Breast Center, and, as a surgeon, performs more than 300 operations a year. She just released The contemporary Generation Breast Cancer Book, a guide to recovery for the newly diagnosed woman.
What are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that encourage fight tumors and repair damaged DNA, making cells regular and secure. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer, particularly ovarian and breast cancer.
Who is at risk?
While everyone has BRCA genes, the mutated forms are much rarer. Fewer than 1% of whole women (“1 in 400,” says Dr. Port) own the mutation, but it can be more common in certain ethnicities. The people at highest risk are Ashkenazi Jewish women, from Eastern Europe. In these women, the appearance of the mutated gene is as high as 1 in every 40.
Other Red Flags
Other women at risk may own
- A strong family history of breast cancer
- Any family history of male breast cancer
- Combined family history of any cancer
And be certain to check out Dr. Port’s contemporary Generation Breast Cancer Book, available in bookstores everywhere.
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