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Genetics of Breast Cancer

Only a small percentage of cancers involve inherited mutations that are passed from generation to generation. The majority of cancers can be attributed to acquired mutations. “Acquired” means that the mutations occur only in the tissue that is affected by cancer and that the changes are not present in all cells of the body. Acquired mutations are not inherited and are not passed down to our children.

Listed below are several genetic syndromes associated with an increased risk for breast cancer that require clinical care by a physician or other health care professional.

Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (BRCA1 / BRCA2)

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Cowden Syndrome

Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T)