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Breast Cancer Genetics

There are many defective genes that predispose someone to breast cancer.

Most of these defective genes are on autosomes, or non-sex chromosomes, which means that breast cancer genes can be passed down from your mother or father. So, when it comes to breast cancer genetics, your father’s family history is just as important as your mother’s family history.

 

The most common breast cancer gene defects are:

-BRCA1 gene

-BRCA2 gene

 

However, there are other defective genes that can also predispose you to developing breast cancer.

Knowing as much as you can about your family history can help your physicians determine if you may carry a defective gene that puts you at risk of breast cancer.

 

Genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.

Not everyone with a defective breast cancer gene will develop cancer.

Additional factors that can increase one’s risk for developing breast cancer include being overweight, prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy, and previous radiation therapy (such as in treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma).