Hereditary breast cancer

Hereditary breast cancer is a cancerous disease caused by genetic mutation and manifested by increased risk of malignant breast tumors in blood relatives. It differs from sporadic neoplasia by an earlier onset, a large number of bilateral lesions and frequent combinations with tumors of other organs. Diagnosed taking into account family history, data from molecular genetic analysis and instrumental studies. If there is a predisposition, regular checkups are carried out and prophylactic mastectomy is performed according to indications. Treatment – operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy.

General information

Hereditary breast cancer

Hereditary breast cancer is a disease accompanied by an increase in the probability of breast cancer due to a genetic mutation passed from generation to generation. It is one of the most common inherited forms of cancer. It consists of 5 to 10% of the total breast neoplasia. It is characterized by frequent early onset (under 50 years of age). The prevalence of bilateral lesions at different mutations ranges from 5-20 to 60%.

In hereditary breast cancer there is a high probability of other tumors, including ovarian, endometrial, colon, stomach, pancreas and bladder cancer, as well as skin melanoma. With one close relative suffering from this disease, the risk of neoplasia is doubled, with two cases of breast cancer in the family – five times. The risk of neoplasia is even higher if one or more close relatives have symptoms of the disease at the age under 50 years. Treatment is provided by specialists in the field of oncology and mammology.

Causes of hereditary breast cancer

Hereditary breast cancer

Specialists are aware of a number of genetic mutations that increase the probability of breast cancer. Mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 suppressor genes are most often mentioned in the literature. The association of these genes with tumors of this organ was reliably established in 1994. The conducted research allowed improving the level of early diagnosis of hereditary breast cancer and became the basis for further research in this area. Later on, the scientists managed to find out that the listed genes are detected in only 20-30% of patients with family cases of breast and ovarian cancer.

In other patients, the disease is provoked by other mutations, with different genetic anomalies prevailing in different regions of the planet. Along with increased probability of development of hereditary breast cancer, defective genes can increase the risk of other malignant tumors, most often – the already mentioned ovarian cancer. A little less frequently, endometrial tumors occur in patients, and even less rarely – neoplasia of organs that are not part of the female reproductive system.

There are a number of risk factors that provoke hereditary breast cancer in female carriers of the defective gene. These factors include: early menarche (a frequent phenomenon in this pathology), late onset of menopause, lack of pregnancy and childbirth, prolonged taking hormonal drugs, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, smoking, alcohol abuse, the presence of benign proliferative changes in breast tissue and some diseases of the female genitalia.