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Your Cancer Answers: Which genetic syndromes increase the risk of breast cancer? | Local News


Dr. Kevin Lin

Dr. Kevin Lin 

Question: Which genetic syndromes increase the risk of breast cancer?

Many risk factors for breast cancer have been identified, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Some are modifiable and others are not. A family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative is the most widely recognized breast cancer risk factor, but only 5-10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a known genetic predisposition. Women with a family history of breast cancer in a mother or sister have a 1.5-3 fold increase in the risk of developing breast cancer.

Multi-panel genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer syndromes is currently not standard for all women diagnosed with breast cancers due to insufficient data regarding interpretation accuracy and its utility. For now, BRCA1/2 testing accounts for half of the detected genetic breast mutations and is recommended in a women with: Personal history of breast cancer diagnosed before the age of 50, multiple female relatives with breast cancer on same side of the family or family history of male breast cancer, multiple breast cancers, both breast and ovarian cancer,with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

Those with BRCA mutation are at risk for developing breast cancer (50 to 80%) by age 70 and developing ovarian cancer (40-60%) by age 85. Since 2014, PALB2 (partner and localizer of BRCA2 gene) testing is frequently added to BRCA due to its inherent breast cancer risk of 5 to 9 times the average. Optional genetic panel testing includes PTEN, TP53, ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, NBN, NF1, STK11, and PMS2/MSH2 — Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, is a hereditary cancer syndrome, and is associated with multiple types of cancers, particularly colon, ovarian and endometrial/uterine, as well as breast cancers. Women with these mismatch repair genetic mutations (Lynch) may also have a 2-3 fold increase risk of breast cancer compared to the general population.


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