How Genetics Affects Risk of Cancer and Other Women’s Diseases : Today, Cancer is the world’s second-leading cause of death. However, because of advancements in cancer detection, therapy, and prevention, survival rates for many types of cancer are improving. Cancer is a broad term for a variety of disorders characterized by the uncontrollable division of aberrant cells with the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal human tissue.
Cancer has a high proclivity for spreading throughout the body. But do you know genes play a significant role in the inheritance of cancer from generation to generation? Yes, this is the bitter truth. If your parents or blood relatives have somehow suffered through cancer, his/her chances of inheriting the same diseases also increases.
You can find out your chances of having such diseases using at-home DNA tests. Be sure to check out a quick overview of all the possibilities here. The earlier you find out the better you can fight with it
Cancer is the most major hereditary disease in humans. Changes in a cell’s DNA, commonly known as mutations, promote the transformation from a normal cell to malignant cancer.
How cancer is formed in our body?
- The cells in the human body are corporate, dividing, and replicating in a well-coordinated and controlled manner.
- Before dividing, a cell must make an identical copy of its genome, which is accomplished through DNA replication.
- During DNA replication, errors or mutations can arise, altering the genome of the newly formed cell.
- The majority of these errors are promptly fixed by the cell’s machinery, but occasionally errors are overlooked and the DNA alteration persists.
- Uncontrolled cell development can result if these mutations happen in genes that govern growth such as proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, which could also result in tumor formation and cancer.
- Proto-oncogenes promote cell proliferation. When these genes are altered, they tell the cell to keep multiplying and are referred to as oncogenes.
- Tumor suppressor genes prevent cells from proliferating. The cells may continue to replicate if these genes are altered and stop functioning.
- A cell must acquire mutations in numerous growth-controlling genes to become malignant or cancerous.
- Before a cell turns cancerous, mutations can accumulate over many years. This is why most cancers are more common among the elderly.
How does the cancer cycle work?
You might know that cancer cells develop through mutations which leads to uncontrollable cell formation. Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell proliferation. The body’s cell division rate and timing are generally tightly controlled. When the genes that control the cell cycle are altered, this regulation is lost, and uncontrolled cell division occurs:
- Mutations in genes that control the cell cycle allow cells to reproduce uncontrollably. This results in a clump of cells that grows and grows, eventually turning into a tumor.
- The tumor is initially confined to the tissue in which it is found, such as the breast tissue. However, as the tumor grows in size, it necessitates more nutrients and so begins to build its own blood vessel network. Angiogenesis is the name for this process.
- The cancer cells then develop the ability to travel through the circulation or lymphatic vessels to other parts of the body. This is referred to as metastasis. And ultimately this leads to the formation of cancer cells in the whole of the body.
How do genes affect cancer formation?
- People with familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer inherit a propensity to specific cancerous cells. These have mutated genes that make them more likely to develop colon cancer.
- As a result, patients are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a younger age than those who are not predisposed, and cancer is more likely to run in families.
- Predisposing mutations frequently disrupt genes involved in DNA repair and cell division and growth regulation.
- Multiple tumors are common in people who are prone to cancer. In general, fewer new mutations are necessary for cancer to occur in people who are predisposed to it than in people who are not.
There are many women’s diseases that are directly or indirectly related to genes somehow. The major one of them is breast cancer. Anything that enhances your chances of developing an illness, such as breast cancer, is referred to as a risk factor. Some breast cancer risk factors are unavoidable, such as growing older or inheriting specific gene mutations. These factors increase your chances of developing breast cancer.
About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are assumed to be hereditary, meaning they are caused by gene alterations (mutations) passed down from one parent to the other. A genetic mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is the most common cause of hereditary breast cancer. These genes aid in the production of proteins that repair damaged DNA in normal cells. These genes can be mutated, resulting in aberrant cell proliferation, which can lead to cancer.
- You have an increased chance of breast cancer if you inherited a mutant copy of either gene from a parent. A woman who carries a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation has a 7 in 10 probability of developing breast cancer by the age of 80.
- The number of other family members who have had breast cancer also influences this risk. (If more family members are afflicted, the number increases.)
- Women who carry one of these mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age and to develop cancer in both breasts.
- Ovarian cancer and various other diseases are more common in women who have one of these gene alterations. Men who inherit one of these gene mutations are also more likely to get breast cancer.
- Inherited breast cancers can also be caused by other gene alterations. These gene mutations are significantly less prevalent, and they don’t increase the risk of breast cancer nearly as much as the BRCA genes.
- The ATM gene normally aids in the repair of damaged DNA (or aids in the cell’s death if the damage cannot be repaired). The disease ataxia-telangiectasia is caused by inheriting two defective copies of this gene.
It’s worth noting that the majority of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease. Women with close blood relatives who have had breast cancer are at an increased risk:
- Having a first-degree family with breast cancer (mother, sister, or daughter) almost doubles a woman’s risk. Having two first-degree relatives more than triples her risk.
- Breast cancer is more likely in women who have a father or sibling who has had the disease.
- In general, roughly 15% of breast cancer patients have a family relative who has the disease.
So, concluding this, I would like to say that genes play a really important factor in some major diseases including cancer and breast cancer.
Related Videos about How Genetics Affects Risk of Cancer and Other Women’s Diseases :
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Risks and types of cancer associated with genetic predisposition to hereditary cancer
How Genetics affect Risk of Breast Cancer – Mayo Clinic
What Is Hereditary Cancer? What Is A Hereditary Cancer Mutation
How Genetics Affects Risk of Cancer and Other Women’s Diseases
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