BRCA1 Gene

Breast Cancer Gene 1

What is a gene?

  • Particles in cells
  • Contained in chromosomes
  • Made of DNA
  • DNA contains the instructions for building proteins
  • Proteins control the structure and function of all cells

Tumor supressor gene

This means that when the genes are working properly they control the way cells grow in certain tissues of the body

Homeostasis BRCA1 Gene

  • Repair cell damage
  • Keep breast cells growing normally
  • Ensure stability of cell's genetic material (DNA)

Mutated BRCA1 Gene

  • Can't fix DNA strands
  • Does not mean you will develop cancer if you have a mutated gene
  • 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer
  • The gene changes allow cells to grow where they shouldn't
  • Gene pushes aside normal cells and spreads to other parts of the body

Passing of Mutated BRCA1 Genes: Parent to Child

  • All the breast cells will carry this mutation
  • "Head Start" to collecting enough genetic mutations to become cancerous
  • 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary

Common Cancers Found in Women with Mutated BRCA1 Gene

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Cervical
  • Uterine
  • Pancreatic
  • Colon

12% of women will develop breast cancer sometime in their lifetime

60% of women with a mutated BRCA1 gene will develop breast cancer

Common Cancers Found in Men with Mutated BRCA1 Gene

  • Breast
  • Pancreatic
  • Testicular
  • Early-onset prostate
  • Melanoma

Risk Factors


  • Most occurs over the age of 50


  • Blood relatives diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50
  • Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Pancreatic, Thyroid


  • If you had breast cancer, your probability for developing it and ovarian cancer again increases


  • Excess Estrogen
  • Increasing risks for women: Menopause after age 55, First menstrual cycle before age 12, Having your first child after age 30
  • Reducing risks for women: Removal of ovaries, Breast feeding


  • Lower risk of ovarian cancer


  • Increases risk for breast cancer
  • Increases mortality in ovarian cancer


  • Increase breast cancer risk


  • Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) heritage
  • African American

What to do if you have a mutated gene

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Eating nutritious foods
  • Never smoking, or quit smoking