Cancers Associated with BRCA Gene Mutation
Cancer is the most common and deadly disease. Cancer affects one or multiple organs of the body. One distinctive characteristic of every cancer is its rapid and abnormal cell growth.
The uncontrollable growth of cells results in tumour formation. This tumour becomes cancer when it starts affecting the normal function of a body organ.
It’s a fatal disease that slowly eats your body. Luckily, with technological advancement in medicine, addressing if you have cancer has become relatively easy. Discover how medical screenings like the BRCA1 test can help assess your risk of getting various cancers.
Understanding BRCA Genes
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 make up the BRCA genes. Every human has two pairs of BRCA genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2. Each copy is inherited from their parents.
The BRCA genes are “tumour suppressors” that regulate the average cell growth in your body organ, especially the breast.
In easier words, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes fight cancer and tumour. They are responsible for keeping the breast, ovary, prostate, and other body cells from growing and multiplying uncontrollably.
However, sometimes a change occurs in the BRCA gene. This seemingly negligible change (called mutation in medical terms) prevents the body cells from growing normally. As a result, a mutation happens that leads to rapid cell growth.
BRCA gene mutation is hereditary. This mutation is called a BRCA gene mutation. It raises your risk of getting various types of cancers. The only reliable way to determine if you have this mutation is to go for a BRCA1 test.
Cancers Linked to BRCA Gene Mutation
Any changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene result in abnormality. As a result, the BRCA genes usually stop working. Hence you get a more heightened risk of getting certain cancers. Here is a list of various cancers you can get if you have a BRCA gene mutation;
Breast cancer is the most common cancer caused by BRCA gene mutation. It occurs when there is a rapid growth of breast cells. Breast cancer grows gradually – so you should look out for the symptoms of breast cancer, including;
- Firm breast
- Lumps in breast
- Swelling, irritation, or dimpling of breast skin
- Redness on nipples
- Nipple discharge
- Uneven breast size
Ovarian cancer is deadly cancer known as the “Silent Killer.” It gets this ominous name because this cancer develops in the woman’s ovary and shows no apparent symptoms until it is severe.
The ovaries are female reproductive organs responsible for growing and storing eggs for fertilisation. Ovarian cancer is inherited from parents through gene mutation. If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend you consult a doctor and go for BRCA1 medical testing to see if you have a BRCA gene mutation.
- Constant abdominal pain
- Upset stomach
- Weak appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal rashes, redness, or itchiness
Men with BRCA gene mutation are at higher risk of developing early-onset prostate cancer. This type of prostate cancer can develop its mutation and be diagnosed at an early age.
While rare, this mutation has the ability to be inherited from generation to generation. We have provided a list of symptoms of prostate cancer to look out for;
- Interruption or slow flow of urine
- Burning and painful urination
- Pain in hips, back, and pelvis
- Penis rashes and irritation
- Painful ejaculation
Remember that not every person with a positive BRCA gene mutation will develop cancer. You are most likely at a higher risk of developing certain cancers. You can consult your doctor and follow a preventative management treatment to lower the risk.