Introduction To Genetic & Hereditary Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a multifactorial disease caused by both genetic and non-genetic factors. A strong family history increases the risk of breast cancer.

In a small minority of patients (5 to 10%), this risk is greatly increased as a result of inheriting a genetic abnormality. We refer to these as examples of hereditary breast cancer.

Determining the risk of breast cancer is very important when deciding on a monitoring policy or the correct therapeutic approach. The recent discovery of 3 genes (BRCA-1, BRCA-2 and BRCA-3) which are clearly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer has greatly assisted in identifying at risk women in families carrying these genes.

In this section we explain the role of genetic counseling and molecular genetic analysis in patients who have a hereditary predisposition to breast cancer.

  • Family history as a risk factor
  • Genetic and hereditary types of breast cancer
  • BRCA-genes, heredity and breast-ovarian cancer
  • Genetic consult for breast cancer
  • Preventive strategies
  • Illustration