Medical Geneticist Dr. Instructor Member Serhat Seyhan said, “Breast cancer occurs as a result of the change and uncontrolled proliferation of one/part of the cells that make up the breast tissue. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, and 1 in 8 women may encounter breast cancer at some point in their life. Breast cancer can also be seen in men; however, it occurs much less frequently than in women.
CHANGES IN DNA CAN CAUSE INCREASE RISK
Stating that about 10 percent of breast cancer, which is quite common, is hereditary, Seyhan said, “There are changes in some parts of our genetic material (DNA) that may predispose to cancer in hereditary breast cancer. As it is known, our DNA consists of two strands by combining one strand each from our mother and father. DNA changes in hereditary breast cancer can be taken with DNA transmitted from the mother and/or father, or they may occur in the individual’s own DNA for the first time, and these changes are usually with us since we are born. Although these changes exist in our cells, they do not necessarily indicate that we will get breast cancer; however, it may cause a serious increase in risk depending on the location of the change. Some of the genes that cause a serious increase in risk for breast cancer, namely DNA segments, are BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, PALB2, PTEN, TP53. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer due to a change in the BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53 genes that can cause breast cancer is over 60 percent. Although this rate varies according to the gene, it can reach up to 60% for CDH1, PALB2 and PTEN. Apart from these, there are other genes that increase the risk of breast cancer. As can be seen, changes in DNA for hereditary breast cancer can cause a serious increase in risk.
“There is no need to do the genetic test for everyone,” said Medical Genetics Specialist Dr. Instructor Member Serhat Seyhan gave the following information:
“According to the International Guidelines (NCCN Guidelines), genetic testing is recommended for every individual diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45, for anyone who is found to have triple negative breast cancer, regardless of age, and for all male individuals diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of age. Apart from these, individuals with other cancer cases in the family and for other indications can be decided by the evaluation of the Medical Genetic Specialist, whether or not the test is needed. According to the level of risk for individuals with increased risk for breast cancer as a result of genetic tests, individuals can be directed to early preventive surgery and close follow-up; Each individual’s increased risk is evaluated on their own terms and consultation is given.”
FUTURE GENERATIONS CAN BE PROTECTED WITH GENETIC TEST SCREENING
Stating that future generations can be protected by genetic test screening, Seyhan said, “Changes detected in DNA may also predispose to various cancers such as ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers other than breast cancer; In this case, it is necessary to approach and consult individually. As a result of genetic tests, if there is a change in the DNA of the individual that may cause an increased risk for breast cancer; Family screening is recommended as we get DNA from our parents and similar DNA can be seen in other siblings. Since the changes in DNA can be transferred to the next generations after the risks and diseases related to the individuals and their families, Preimplantation Genetic Test (PGT) or alternative solutions according to the individual can be offered to the individuals in order to prevent them from being passed on to the next generations. As can be seen, hereditary breast cancer risk can be determined by genetic tests to be performed on the relevant parts of our genetic material (DNA), alternative solutions are offered to those in the risky group, and the risky individual can be prevented from transferring this risk to the next generations.