If there are two or more cases of malignant breast disease among woman’s relatives, it can be a sign of a hereditary nature of the disease. For women with gene mutations associated with breast cancer, some effective preventive measures can be applied.
MUNICH. Every year, about 60,000 women in Germany develop breast cancer. From 20 to 30 % of all the cases of the disease is a result of so-called accumulation of hereditary traits in families (it’s when a disease rate in the families of the carriers of gene mutations or deceased women is higher than in the families of a control group without such cases). According to Professor Marion Kichl and Dr. Sabiny Grill from the gynecological clinic at the Technical University of Munich, the type of inheritance causing the disease can be both monogenic and polygenic. (DZKF 2017; 2: 36-41).
A monogenic type of inheritance is 5-10 % of all breast cancers and about 30 percent of it is attributable to the susceptibility of the BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2). Studying mutations, it is possible to determine whether a type of inheritance is oligogenic, or polygenic. An analysis can reveal a large number of higher and lower risks that all together can lead to predisposition to breast cancer.
Gynecologists from Munich have made a conclusion that in the presence of pathogenic BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 by the age of 70, the risk of the disease is 60%, including 55% of breast cancer. As to ovarian cancer, this age is as low as 59 years, and the risk of the disease is 16.5 % respectively.
Taking in account the above mentioned, the women who supposed to be susceptible to the disease are subject to participate in an early detection program. Starting from the age of 25, they should see a gynecologist and have a palpation every six months, and do mammography and MRI of the mammary glands once a year. Then, after 40 years, they should have regular bilateral mastectomy for preventive purposes, as well as bilateral oophorectomy. Bilateral mastectomy is carried out to those who have not been diagnosed with cancer yet, in order to reduce the risk by more than 95 percent.
Developing of hereditary breast cancer or ovarian cancer is highly probable in the following families, where: