You have probably heard about the role genetics can play in determining your risk for various forms of cancer. In the 1990s, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were discovered, and this had broad implications for breast cancer. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are found in every person’s DNA, but mutations of these genes are associated with increased risk for breast cancer. The BRCA genes suppress the growth of tumors in the body, and a mutation of these genes can impair your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. In fact, a mutation of the BRCA2 gene can increase a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by 45% and a mutation of the BRCA1 gene can increase that risk by 65%.

How can you know if you have a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes? The test involves swabbing the inside of your cheek. Following the results of your test, our experienced plastic surgeon is happy to answer your questions and visit with you about preventive practices for breast cancer. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, Dr. Natalie Driessen encourages you to be tested for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. We invite you to contact us today if you have received positive test results for the BRCA testing and to set up your next appointment with Dr. Natalie Driessen in Palm Desert, California.