As a family physician, Dr. Rose Kenny knows the importance of regular doctor visits and life-saving tests to detect disease. With a family history of breast cancer in her background, Dr. Rose Kenny determined that being tested for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 was a necessary course of action.
The majority of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no prior family history of the disease. But those that do have a family history are at a much higher risk of inheriting an abnormal gene that is associated with a higher risk for breast cancer. For those with a family history of cancer as a backdrop, choosing genetic testing to find out their personal risk is an option. These genetic tests involve a saliva or blood sample which is then analyzed for any abnormalities in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are both genes that manufacture tumor suppressor proteins which help to repair any damaged DNA. If either gene is mutated and does not function properly, they lose their ability to repair damaged DNA which can lead to cancer developing in the body.
Women who carry these genes have a significantly higher risk of breast cancer than those who don’t. A woman with a mutated BRCA2 gene is 45% more likely to develop breast cancer than the general population, while women with BRCA1 are 55-65% more likely to develop the disease.
Dr. Kenny has tested positive for the genetic mutation BRCA 2 and plans to document her medical journey as she deals with the diagnosis.
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