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Environment vs. genetic risk?

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Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from BerniceT: Although science has only discovered BRCA1 and BRCA2, is it likely that all breast cancers are caused by an as-yet-undiscovered gene mutation? Or does environment alone cause breast cancer? I tested negative for 1 and 2, but still wonder if it was caused by some other unknown defective gene. I want to know what advice to give my daughter once she has grown up.
Answers - Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. I think that we believe most cancers come from a series of events that are gene and environment-interaction-based. Lots of research is taking place to more fully understand these complex events. Depending on the age of your daughter now, by the time she grows up, we may have a much better understanding of all the factors that lead to development of cancer.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference Breast Cancer Risk and Your Family featured Terri McHugh, D.O., and Carol Cherry, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.R.N., B.C. answering your questions about genetics and breast cancer, and how your family could be affected.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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