Making the Connection Between Ovarian and Breast Cancer
The connection between ovarian and breast cancer is related to the inherited mutation BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Having one of thesh gene mutations predisposes women to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. According to the University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology, “BRCA 1 & 2 are involved in DNA repair and cell growth, but when mutations in those genes occur, they don’t repair DNA so well, and cancer can result — breast and/or ovarian cancers.” Also, “Women with these mutations are at higher risk and their children have a 50% chance of inheriting the same gene mutation.”
The American Cancer Society explains it on their page titled “Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors”
This is from ASCO and their Cancer.Net. “A diagnosis of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) is considered when there are multiple cases of breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer on the same side of the family.” Their information is much more detailed. They list many of the other gene mutations that can cause breast and other cancers. In the article, cancer.net discusses ways to prevent these cancers. Some of these things are extremely invasive and irreversible although 90% effective. These include removal of the ovaries and/or the breasts.
Genetic testing after a cancer diagnosis can be discussed with your oncologist.
The important take away here is if you get a breast cancer diagnosis, make an appointment to see a gynecolological oncologist.