Read the case scenario below. Risk for developing breast cancer. Visit www.cancer.gov to become familiar with the U.S. government’s primary agency for cancer research and after reviewing the recourses please answer the questions bellow. Make sure to include references from the website.
JF is a 26-year-old woman in the clinic today for her annual physical examination. As you take her medical history, it becomes apparent that she is quite concerned about her risk of developing breast cancer. Her mother and a maternal aunt both developed breast cancer in their late 40s. JF has heard that genetic testing can be done to see whether she carries “breast cancer genes.”
- Assuming JF is talking about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, explain the role that these genes have in the genetic mechanisms of breast cancer.
2. If genetic testing reveals that JF does carry the BRCA1 gene, what does this mean for her risk of developing breast cancer?
3. What proportion of breast cancer cases can be attributed to inherited forms?
4. What other cancer would JF be at risk for given the presence of the BRCA1 gene? How significant is that risk?
5. What other risk factors should be investigated to evaluate JF’s risk for breast cancer?