The BRCA 1 gene repairs breaks in strands of DNA, whose helix formation is continuously being broken from damage. Sometimes one or both strands are broken. When both strands are broken, it is difficult for the repair process to know how to replace the correct DNA sequence. This can lead to the development of cancer cells.
It is estimated that two to seven percent of breast cancers and 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers are the result of an inherited mutation in one of two major hereditary breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. The lifetime risk for breast cancer, in the average woman is typically seven percent, but ranges from 45 to 90 percent for women who have the BRCA 1 mutation and 36 to 75 percent for those with the BRCA 2 mutation. Whereas the average lifetime risk for ovarian cancer is 0.7 percent, but ranges from 24 to 66 percent in the BRCA 1 and eight to 32 percent in the BRCA 2 mutation carriers.
Having this gene mutation is rare, but if feel that you need more information, talk with your provider. Agnesian HealthCare does offer genetic testing for this gene mutation and others related to colorectal cancer.