Breast-ovarian cancer, familial 1 is a cancer caused by mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 gene. These mutations can lead to uncontrolled growth of the breast and ovarian tissues that do not respond to the body's normal signals to stop growth. Women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation have a greater risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The severity and type of cancer varies from family to family.
The presence of a mutation in BRCA1 can be predicted based on family history and confirmed using molecular genetic testing. However, at this time, not all types of mutations that may increase the risk of cancer have been discovered. The majority of breast cancers associated with mutations in BRCA1 are known as triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which means that they do not respond to hormone therapy. The signs of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer may include multiple affected family members, an early age of cancer development, and cancer that affects both sides of the body, such as both the right and left breasts.
Treatment for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer can include surgery to reduce risk, medication, and preventative screening. Treatment for breast and/or ovarian cancer varies depending on the type and stage of cancer development. If you have been diagnosed with breast-ovarian cancer, familial 1, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. In addition, a genetic counselor can help discuss inheritance and the possible risks to other family members. Support groups are available for more resources and to connect with others who have or are at risk of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.