Genetic testing for breast cancer: BRCA genes

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Though the risk of developing tumors in the breast is associated with hormone or radiation exposure, alcohol use, and other environmental toxicities, genes appear to play a significant role in a third of cases. Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. A woman’s typical lifetime risk of breast cancer is 13 percent, but a woman with a BRCA mutation could have a risk as high as 80 percent.

Women with a family history of breast cancer can receive genetic counseling and testing to determine their risk of developing the tumors. Read more about genetic tests for breast cancer risk.

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