Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing
What are BRCA1 and BRCA2?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that belong to a class of genes known as tumor suppressors.
In normal cells, BRCA1 and BRCA2 help ensure the stability of the cell’s genetic material (DNA) and help prevent uncontrolled cell growth. Mutation of these genes has been linked to the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
The names BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and breast cancer susceptibility gene 2, respectively.
- What are BRCA1 and BRCA2?
- How do BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations affect a person's risk of cancer?
- Do inherited mutations in other genes increase the risk of breast and/or ovarian tumors?
- Are specific mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 more common in certain populations?
- Are genetic tests available to detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, and how are they performed?
- How do people know if they should consider genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations?
- How much does BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation testing cost?
- What does a positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result mean?
- What does a negative BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result mean?
- What does an ambiguous BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result mean?
- What are the options for a person who has a positive test result?
- What are some of the benefits of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer risk?
- What are some of the risks of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer risk?
- What can happen when genetic test results are placed in medical records?
- What is genetic discrimination, and are there laws to protect people from this type of discrimination?
- In general, what factors increase or decrease the chance of developing breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer?