Doctor insights on:
Is Breast Cancer A Genetic Disease
Is it a good idea to obtain a genetic test using 23andme? It would be good to know what major diseases, such as breast cancer, I am vulnerable to.
Not a parlour game: A person should not undertake such testing without thinking about the impact now and in the future. I refer patients considering obtaining special testing or their genome to a genetic counselor or medical geneticist. Either can determine optimal testing for most patients and discuss details of what, where, when and how much to do. Nb: through rock health there's a connection between our founders. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
A genetic disease is a disease that is caused by a defect in the genetic (dna) material in a gene(s). It can be inherited and mosy pose a risk to other family members and/or to future children. For many genetic diseases there are molecular tests that allow detection of a change(s) called mutations, we can also detect deltions or other changes to the gene's dna that can also result ...Read more
Knowledge is Power: The brca test is a simple (tho, very expensive) blood test to determine if one carries the risk of developing the hereditary form of breast (& ovarian) cancer. Affected people have a 50%chance of passing this on to their children. If the test is (-), this can be very reassuring; if (+), one may choose to be proactive and undergo prophylactic (preventive) mastectomies and oophorectomies. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Yes: App. 10-15% of all breast cancers are believed to be related to hereditary risks; therefore, in a sense, the other 85-90% are related to "environmental" factors. Unfortunately, we don't know what specific triggers are responsible for breast cancer development; but, we do know that breast cancer occurs much more frequently in developed countries. This, regrettably, is a disease of modern life. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Our Environment: Most cases of breast cancer in the US are unrelated to genetics and are believed to be due to our environment. Breast cancer is a disease of the modern world and is much less common in developing nations. Whether it is a byproduct of what we breathe and/or what we eat, the exact causes are unclear. However, we do see cancer more commonly in women with early menarche, late menopause, etc. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
10-15% Hereditary: We believe that only 10-15% of breast cancers are hereditary, with the rest being environmental in origin. People w/the hereditary form of breast cancer tend to get diagnosed earlier in life and may get cancer in both breasts. When treated by lumpectomy or (single) mastectomy, it is not uncommon to develop a second, unrelated breast cancer; therefore, many opt for double mastectomies. ...Read more
Breast Cancer: More and more genetic tests for mutations are becoming available all if the time. There have been several promising discoveries but each time a tumor is switched off by one medicine it seems another avenue develops so tumors can continue to grow. ...Read more
Genetics can play a: Significant role for some women (not for others). Include: being female, increasing age, genetics, family history of breast cancer, previous breast cancer, being caucasian, dense breast tissue, some previous benign breast conditions, never having given birth or 1st child after age 30, early menarche, late menopause, radiation (chest), exposure to diethylstilbestrol, hormone replacement after >>. ...Read more
Basic biology: It's easy to misunderstand. Genetic disease is usually hereditary -- only a few diseases of genes can't be inherited or passed on; new mutations are genetic but not hereditary. Inherited disease is almost always genetic. A variety of genes may be passed parent-to-child, each defining a "cancer family syndrome" but most cancer is sporadic. ...Read more
Well...: You cannot completely prevent breast cancer but you can reduce the risk of getting it by living a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of dying of it by getting screened. Some people have higher than normal risk and need special interventions. Talk to your doc about this and best to you. ...Read more
From a medical standpoint, "genetic" refers to the potential heritability of various medical conditions. While some conditions are inevitable (at some point in one's life) as a consequence of simple genetic heritability (eg huntington's disease), a large number of medical conditions (including all behaviorial health disorders) are the expressed final pathway of a ...Read more
The breast is both a male and female organ. However its main function is in the delivery of milk to the newborn. Breast cancer occurs 95% of the time in women and 5% of the time in men. It is treated the same regardless of which sex it appears in. It comes in two forms invasive and non-invasive; distinction is important as ...Read more
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