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Breast Cancer Tips

Information About the Breast Cancer Gene

Certain Genes Can Cause Breast Cancer

Much has been written lately about a breast cancer gene. It's important to understand this concept, and to be aware that the gene itself doesn't cause cancer. Every cell in the human body has DNA, which carries genetic information about how the cell should function, reproduce and die. Genes are small parts of DNA that carries these instruction. Mutations, or slight changes to a gene, can cause a glitch in the cell's instructions. Sometimes, the glitch will prevent a cell from turning off the instruction to reproduce, and this can lead to cancer. Mutations usually occur spontaneously in DNA over the course of a lifetime, but some are inherited. Scientists have identified BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 (breast cancer genes 1 and 2) which commonly carry cancer-causing mutations. These gene mutations can be passed down from one genration to the next, which is why your risk is higher if there's a family history of breast cancer. Everybody has these genes, and they don't cause cancer in and of themselves. Mutations in the genes, which are inherited, may cause cancer. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer you may consider being tested for mutations in these genes.

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