Your prevention of breast & ovarian cancer should start with GynGen®
A mutation in the BRCA genes considerably increases the chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer
A woman with a BRCA 1 gene is 55-67% more likely to develop breast cancer and 20%-60% more likely to develop ovarian cancer, with women already diagnosed with breast cancer having an added 60% risk of developing a second cancer. Women with BRCA 2 genes have a 60-85% chance of developing breast cancer and 10-20% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Congenital mutations in both BRCA genes represent a minimum 85% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and a minimum 20-60% lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer.
The majority of incidents of breast cancer are not hereditary
This means that the interaction of mutated genes with the environment and other external factors such as lifestyle are known to increase a woman’s risk of developing this disease. Diet, excessive alcohol consumption, an increase in the intake of hormones through contraceptives (oestrogen and progesterone) and heavy smoking over a period of time are examples of some possible contributing factors. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get tested even if you do not have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. For cases of inherited mutations, the risk of developing breast cancer is already high. But combined with external factors, this risk may cause the disease to develop at an early age, sometimes by the age of 30 years! For this reason, if you have a family history of breast and/ or ovarian cancer, a genetic test should be an absolute necessity.
At GHC Genetics UK, we believe in giving all women an equal opportunity to gain control of their health
As such, by introducing GynGen®, we have eliminated the tedious evaluation process needed by NHS genetic testing facilities and instead allow all women regardless of family history or medical history to benefit from genetic testing from the comfort of their own home. Our genetic test GynGen® is affordable, quick and easy, and can be accessed through a pain-free and hassle-free saliva sample.
GynGen® should be a part of every woman’s healthcare, regardless of age
You should especially get tested if you have any of the symptoms or a family history of:-
- Breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
- Multiple occurrences of breast cancer
- Breast cancer in both breasts
- Cases of male breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- A family member with a mutated BRCA gene (if a family member has a mutated gene there is a 50% chance that an offspring could inherit this mutation).
GynGen® Test Report
The GynGen® Test Report gives you the knowledge of whether or not you are at risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. If your GynGen® result is positive, you will know that you have a mutation in the BRCA 1 and/or BRCA 2 genes. The report will explain to both you and your physician the results of the genetic analysis, and if tested positive, will provide you with directions and recommendations on how to set targeted preventative measures specifically suited to you to prevent or limit the occurrence of breast and ovarian cancer.
Reducing children’s cancer risk
A positive result from your predictive test may also affect your decision to conceive. Every parent most certainly wants their children to be healthy. As such, genetic testing may help you to prevent passing an altered breast cancer gene to future children. Currently, you have two options when planning a family or are already pregnant. If you want to become pregnant, you may want to consider pre-implantation genetic diagnosis offering the checking of embryos not having the known affected gene before being transferred into the womb. If you are already pregnant, you may be interested in pre-natal genetic tests which would reveal any possible genetic mutations within an unborn child, allowing you the opportunity to better prepare for motherhood or seek alternatives. A positive result may also result in the decision to have your embryos frozen for IVF (in vitro fertilisation) as freezing eggs after diagnosis is not recommended. It is recommended to seek further information and consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions.
Currently there are few preventative measures which may limit the chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer up to 95%. Nevertheless, you first need to know your genetic risk factors before you can take any further steps.
Breast screening includes a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI), x-rays (mammogram), ultrasound or breast biopsy (removing a small piece of tissue to examine under a microscope). The type and frequency of breast screening depends on age and level of risk. Breast self-examination, clinical breast exams and mammograms can start at an early age, 25 or younger, and occur more frequently (every 6 months instead of once per year).
Ovary screening includes a transvaginal ultrasound and testing for CA-125 levels in the blood twice a year beginning at age 25.
Drug treatment is carried out with drugs called tamoxifen or raloxifene (treatment of bone thinning after menopause). According to research, use of these drugs for a period of five years can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 40%. A benefit of this form of treatment is that using tamoxifen does not directly affect your fertility.
The risk-reducing surgery involves removing both breasts (bilateral mastectomy), often followed by breast reconstruction at the same time and/or the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) and/or womb (total hysterectomy). According to research, this risk-reducing surgery significantly reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 90-95% and the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 95%. Reconstruction rebuilds both breasts using implants or tissue from another part of the body.