Is Breast Cancer always genetic in young females?

Is Breast Cancer always genetic in young females?

Is Breast Cancer always genetic in young females?

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Breast cancer, often associated with older age, can strike young women with genetic predispositions, presenting complex challenges in diagnosis and management. In this landscape, knowledge becomes a potent weapon against the disease. We aim to arm you with information about your genetic predisposition, empowering you to make informed decisions that can mitigate the impact of the disease and improve long-term outcomes.

Can someone with no known history of breast cancer get breast cancer?

Yes, it is possible. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known, but most of the breast cancers are sporadic. Sporadic means they develop from damage to a person’s genes that occurs by chance after birth. They are related to risk factors the patient was exposed to earlier in their lifetime.

What is hereditary breast cancer?

Hereditary breast cancer refers to a genetic predisposition passed down through families, increasing the risk of developing breast cancer. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are commonly associated with this condition. Individuals with a family history of breast cancer are advised to undergo genetic testing to assess their risk. Early detection and proactive measures like increased surveillance or preventive surgery can help manage the risk associated with hereditary breast cancer.

How common is hereditary breast cancer?

Hereditary breast cancers are aggressive cancers and account for 5-10 per cent. Genetic breast cancer in young women constitutes a distinct subset of the disease marked by inherited mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These mutations significantly elevate the risk of developing breast cancer at a young age, sometimes even before hitting 40. Additionally, young women with genetic predispositions may encounter aggressive tumour biology and limited treatment options, underlining the urgency of early detection and intervention.

How do you find out about familial breast cancer?

Family history is pivotal in identifying individuals at heightened risk of genetic breast cancer. While the maternal lineage often takes centre stage, recognising the significance of familial history beyond mothers is critical. Delving into the occurrences of breast cancer among aunts, grandmothers, and other relatives can unveil hidden patterns of hereditary predisposition. 

What should I do if I doubt breast cancer?

Suppose you have a family history of breast cancer. In that case, you can meet a breast oncoplastic surgeon or breast surgeon like Dr Shilpy Dolas after your clinical breast examination and require investigations like ultrasound, mammogram, and breast. Having genetic counselling with a doctor, you can decide on your further tests to be aware of early detection of breast cancer.

How will you check the BRCA gene? Is it cumbersome?

After having a clinical breast examination and specific tests, during genetic counselling, we normally select patients’ body fluids like saliva or blood and tissue biopsy blocks in case of proven cancer.

How to treat familial breast cancer?

First and foremost, consultation with our breast specialist surgeon is required, followed by a Mammography and ultrasound of the breast. In some cases, when a breast lump is found, a biopsy of the lump is necessary by the surgeon. Depending on the type of breast cancer, further treatment proceeds like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Do we have different kinds of surgeries for familial breast cancer to reduce the risk of breast cancer in future?

Yes. We are doing breast oncoplastic surgeries and prophylactic mastectomies with immediate reconstruction or formation of breasts for young patients who are BRCA positive. This advanced surgery can reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in future. 

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