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April 2016

BRCA Genes: Protector From or Cause of Breast Cancer?

BRCA Genes: Protector From or Cause of Breast Cancer?

Many women have heard of the term “BRCA” standing for Breast Cancer Associated genes and their association with inherited breast cancers. Perhaps not as well known is the fact that the BRCA genes normally play an important role in protecting our bodies as they age. It is only when mutations of these BRCA genes occur that the risk for developing cancer increases, because the mutations inactivate their protective effects.

Throughout our lifetime, our body continually is engaged in renewing itself. Every minute, somewhere in our bodies our aging cells pass on their “personality” by creating “daughter cells” that will replace them in location and function. Old cardiac cells produce identical but younger heart cells. Old muscle cells generate newer muscle cells and so on. These amazing events occur through a process called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replication.