Cancer is a deadly disease that causes body cells to grow uncontrollably. It begins as a tumour but slowly spreads across the surrounding parts of the body.
Cancer can occur anywhere in your body. The primary cause of cancer is a change in genes that prevent the body cells from working properly. This change is referred to as BRCA Gene Mutation. The BRCA genes are tumour suppressors.
Luckily, gene mutation is rare. But it can be hereditary. If one of your parents has had a gene mutation, there is a risk that it will get passed to you. An early diagnosis like BRCA screening can help prevent the risk of developing hereditary cancer. Keep reading to understand how BRCA tests can help in preventing cancer risks.
What is BRCA Screening?
A BRCA screening is a medical sample test where your DNA is examined for any gene changes. The changes occur in BRCA1 and BRCA2 in your blood. Hence, this test helps identify any possible gene mutation in your blood that could increase your risk of developing specific cancer.
The screening process is simple, quick, and painless. A sample of your blood, spit, or tissue is taken for examination. The test measures your risk of developing hereditary cancer. This screening process allows you and your doctor to take necessary preventative steps to lower the risk.
5 Things to Know about BRCA Gene and Its Test
Remember that having a gene mutation doesn’t always mean you will develop cancer. Yes, it puts you at a higher risk of getting cancer, but through a screening, your doctor can devise a preventative plan to lower its risk.
Here are some key takeaways to understanding the harmful mutations in the BRCA gene.
- BRCA gene mutations can occur both in males and females. However, as a tumour suppressor of breast cancer, women with such mutations are at higher risk than men.
- These BRCA mutations are inherited from parent to child.
- As carriers of these mutations, men have a higher chance of becoming silent carriers. While women with gene mutations are most likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer.
- Early detection from screening can help in lowering the cancer risk.
- Having a genetic mutation doesn’t always mean you will develop cancer. You just have a higher chance of getting cancer than an average person.
Types of Cancer through BRCA Gene Mutation
Any variation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene can increase the risk of certain cancers. These cancers are;
- Breast Cancer – In men or women, any person with a BRCA gene mutation is at risk of breast cancer. But women are more likely to develop breast cancer than any other cancer through gene mutation.
- Ovarian Cancer – Only a woman inheriting the gene mutation is at risk of getting ovarian cancer. Ovaries are the female reproductive organ. This cancer can lead to infertility in women.
- Prostate Cancer – Only a man inheriting the gene mutation can get prostate cancer. Inherited prostate cancer mainly occurs at a younger age. This cancer leads to complete infertility in men.
BRCA genes can be passed down from generations, and cause a higher risk of cancer development. By booking in for a screening, you can take preventative action to reduce your risk, as well as get treated as soon as possible if you do develop cancer.