The BRCA 1 and 2 genes produce tumor suppressing proteins, they help fight malignant cells that may occur in the body. When someone has a BRCA gene mutation they have decreased tumor suppression, leading to a heightened risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Each child has a 50 percent chance of inheriting this gene from an affected mother so this is an identifiable cause of hereditary breast cancer.
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, it is important to clarify how this disease works in hopes of motivating everyone (women and men) to be proactive in his or her self-care. This involves starting a dialogue with your primary physician and asking about the screening, which is recommended for you based on your individual and family factors. It is a frightening thought if you or a loved one has a BRCA mutation or other risk factors, but it shouldn’t keep you from seeking answers. There are lifestyle changes you can make preemptively to decrease your risk and effective treatment options if action is required. Be aware and seek guidance, and encourage friends and family to do so as well.