Breast Cancer

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer starts with a small tumor that grows in a woman’s breast or breast tissue, primarily on the in the milk ducts. As any other cancer, it develops because of the uncontrollably multiplied cells that do not die. Breast cancer symptoms include:

  • A lump that persists through the menstrual cycle
  • Breast size, shape, or contour shape
  • The appearance of the skin or its color on the breast or nipple
  • A hardened area under the skin

Breast cancer types

Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer:

ER-positive breast cancer means that the cancer cells grow regarding to the hormone estrogen (80%), PR-positive breast cancer means that cancer cells grow concerning another hormone, progesterone (65%). If your breast cancer developed with receptors for one of these hormones it is concerned to be called hormone-receptor positive.

HER2-Positive Breast Cancer:

If cancer cells cause an excessive amount of HER2 protein (20%), this type of breast cancer is called HER2-Positive Breast Cancer, which is usually aggressive and fast-growing.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

If breast cancer does not have estrogen and progesterone and do not produce HER2 protein (10%-20%), it is known as triple-negative breast cancer.

Breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer treatments are developing by leaps and bounds over the years and all of them are centered on getting 2 main objectives: to free the body from the disease and prevent the disease from reappearance. The right treatment depends on some actors concerning the type of breast cancer you have, the stage of development and your personal health conditions and preferences. Main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

Is breast cancer genetic?

Inherited breast cancer is mostly associated with two main types of gene mutations: BRCA1 and BRCA2. Despite their primary repairing function in the human body, these genes may contain mutations passed from generation to generation. As a result, BRCA1 and BRCA2 do not function correctly, what increases breast, ovarian, and other cancer risk.

There are other mutations that are identified with breast cancer, which are not that trivial and are considered to be rare. To predict all possible breast cancer risks, we are studying not only BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but, essentially, the mutation of some of those rare genes, which include: ATM, RAD51B, TNRC9 and TP53.

Should I get tested?

It is always advisable to test all the possible risks of any disease, especially it is common in your family tree. Knowing your likelihood beforehand can help you to take steps to prevent or lower your risks of getting the disease.

If you feel like having symptoms of breast cancer or there were cases in your family, we offer you to test not only BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but also ATM, RAD51B, TNRC9 and TP53. It is highly recommended to take the test as earlier as possible to adapt your daily habits and lifestyle in general that will make you live longer and heathier.

Still have questions?