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Research Papers on Breast Cancer Genetics

Medical health research papers focus on diseases such as Breast Cancer. When writing a research paper on Breast Cancer, Paper Masters suggests you focus on one specific aspect of the disease due to the breadth of the topic. Breast cancer genetics research papers are one of our writer's specialties due to the new and exciting research on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Breast cancer can be a devastating diagnosis for a woman. It is the leading type of cancer for women worldwide, consisting of some 1.68 million cases and over 500,000 deaths in 2012. As with any cancer, there are numerous risk factors. However, there is also a strong genetic component in many breast cancers.

Scientists believe that somewhere between five and ten percent of breast cancer diagnoses have a genetic component. Any individual who has a first-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer experiences a risk that is double that of the rest of the population, especially between the ages of 40 and 50.

Breast Cancer Genetics

Breast Cancer and Hereditary

Some individuals are susceptible to hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, especially those who have a mutation in the BRCA1 (Breast Cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer gene 2) genes. These two mutations account for over 90 percent of breast cancers with a genetic cause. All individuals carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, their purpose is to repair cell damage and keep breast development normal. It is only in mutated form that cancer risk grows.

Women with abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may have up to an 80 percent risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Average women in the United States have only a 12 to 13 percent chance of developing breast cancer. There are blood tests that can determine if a woman is carrying either of these genes in a mutated form, or other genes that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Other Possible Causes of Breast Cancer

Although a finger cannot be pointed at one specific cause researchers have developed and epidemiology of breast cancer that involves a plethora of possible suspect causes.  Some of the most common suspect agents are as follows:

  1. Age: The incidence of breast cancer increases with age; doubling about every ten years.
  2. Family History: Up to 10% of all breast cancer in Western countries is due to genetic predisposition.  Breast cancer susceptibility is genetically inherited.
  3. Previous benign breast disease: Women with severe atypical epithelial hyperplasia have a four to five times higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Radiation: A doubling of the risk of breast cancer was observed among teenage girls exposed to radiation during the Second World War.
  5. Diet: Overall, there is a direct correlation between the incidence of breast cancer and fat intake although some results are inconclusive.
  6. Weight: Obesity is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women (McPherson, et al., 629 & Ness and Kuller, 204-208).
Although these risk factors provide a starting point in determining specifically causes breast cancer, they are simply that, a starting point.  In truth, researchers have no definitive evidence on what causes breast cancer.

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