Breast cancer is a cancer that sounds very familiar. Many women in Belgium and the Netherlands get the disease. Yet it is not just about middle-aged women. Women under the age of 30 also get more and more breast cancer. Often people wonder how this can be done at a young age. The answer here is heredity. Yet it is still a guess for women if you are taxed and therefore have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Breast cancer in numbers
According to http://www.organicbirthmovie.com/ in the figures for 2017 we see that in the US 1 in 11 women and in all over the world even 1 in 9 women will ever get breast cancer. When we want to stop this, we also need to understand how breast cancer develops and respond to the hereditary factor. About five to ten percent of all breast cancers come from a genetic disorder.
Hereditary burden is in our genes. This means that there must be a mistake in a gene of your DNA if you want to be hereditary. You can also pass on those genes. The genes that make you more at risk for breast cancer are called BRCA genes. BRCA stands for breast cancer. With the genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 in particular being important here. If you have a disorder on one of these two genes, you are 60 to 80 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. Moreover, you also have more risk of developing ovarian cancer with the BRCA gene. In medical terms these abnormalities are called BRCA mutations.
The CHEk2 gene is also a gene that gives an increased risk of breast cancer. The difference with the BRCA gene is that the CHEK2 gene does not give an increased risk of ovarian cancer. This mutation is relatively rare in Belgium and Dutch. Only 1 percent of the population has this gene mutation. When breast cancer is present in your family and you are a carrier of the CHEK2 gene mutation, you are 35 to 50 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. If you have this abnormality and have already had breast cancer, you also have more risk of getting breast cancer again in the other breast. Moreover, CHEK2 has another risk factor. You can inherit this deviation from both your mother and your father. This means that you can double the deviation twice. This is called a homozygous CHEK2 mutation. When you have this mutation,
Men can also get breast cancer. If you have a parent with breast cancer due to a genetic BRCA gene deviation, you also have a fifty percent chance of getting this yourself. Most breast cancers in men are also due to a deviation from the BRCA gene. This means that they too can pass on this deviation to their children. It is also very important for the man to know that the BRCA mutation can not only provide breast cancer, but also exceptional for prostate cancer.
There are two tests that you can do to investigate whether you have a mutation on your gene. This is the diagnostic test and the predictive test.
A diagnostic test is only possible for people diagnosed with breast cancer. It is therefore examined whether other family members have had breast cancer and at what age. When there are several people present with breast cancer or persons who at a very young age, there is looked at persons under 35 years, breast cancer had a DNA sample taken for research. This steel is in the form of a blood sample. After relinquishing the sample you have to wait a few months for the result. This is because they want to look at the genes in detail to detect errors and this takes time.
A predictive test is possible for every family member who has or has not had breast cancer. However, there must first have been a positive diagnostic test in a person who had breast cancer. Otherwise a predictive test does not make sense. You can not just go to the doctor and ask for a predictive test to have certainty. Both men and women can get a predictive test. A condition is that you are eighteen years or older for taking the test. The purpose of this test is to determine whether you can get breast cancer yourself through a genetic abnormality. A blood sample is taken during this test. This steel is examined extensively. After about eight weeks you have the results.
When you know that you have an increased risk of breast cancer, it is very important to do breast check. Although this is recommended for every woman. Here go with your hand across the chest to under the armpit. You feel the tissue to see if you feel lumps. The first time this feels uncomfortable, but after practicing a few times you get to know your breasts very well. This makes it easier to recognize when there is a small lump that was not there the previous time and you can go to the doctor more quickly. When breast cancer is diagnosed, it is often a very early stage that is easier to cure. If you do not know how to do self-monitoring, your doctor or your gynecologist can help you further.
A mammography is a research that is often used to detect breast cancer. For example, in Belgium and the Netherlands preventive screening for breast cancer is being carried out. Every woman aged 60 to 75 receives an invitation to be screened for free every 2 years by means of a mammography. Although this does not work for everyone. For example, a woman under the age of 25 will have no sense in mammography. The tissue of the breast of a young woman has not evolved enough. As a result, one can not clearly see the difference between healthy tissue that is still developing and a cancerous tumor.
Preventively remove the breasts cancer
When you as a woman know that you have a 60 to 80 percent chance of getting breast cancer, it is usually recommended to have the breasts removed if there is no desire for children. This is completely preventive. In this way, the risk of getting breast cancer falls below the risk of an average woman in Belgium and the Netherlands. Note that you still have a low risk. This is possible because sometimes a small amount of breast tissue remains behind during the operation. Breast cancer can still develop in that small piece of tissue. To have a preventive breast operation done, you have to meet some conditions. These are:
The DNA research shows that you have an increased risk of breast cancer
Breast cancer is so common in the family that a preventive surgery is also an option
You have received information about all operating options, so that you can make a good assessment
You have received information about alternatives for surgery (screening)
You receive psychosocial support during the decision process and after the procedure
You will receive a consultation with an (oncological) surgeon
You will receive a consultation with a plastic surgeon
You have enough reflection time to make the decision for a preventive operation