Most cases of breast cancer occur by chance. However, breast cancer can occur more often than usual in some families because of their genetic make-up. This type of breast cancer is called hereditary breast cancer. This mutated gene increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
About 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers in the U.S. are thought to be hereditary. Hereditary breast cancer occurs more often in younger women and men and can be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. Women with inherited breast cancer genes also have increased risk for developing other cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.
Two gene mutations commonly associated with hereditary breast cancer are mutations in BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two). But BRCA mutations account for only 20 to 25 percent of all heredita
ry breast cancers. There are many other inherited gene mutations that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Some of these are known and include mutations in the PALB2, CHEK2, ATM and TP53 genes. But many are yet to be discovered.
Identifying other inherited gene mutations is an important step in helping women and men understand their individual risk, and empowering them to take preventative or protective measures for their future. ‘
To learn more about inherited gene mutations, click here.