New recommendations for BRCA gene screening – commonly linked to breast cancer

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(CNN) – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has just come out with updated recommendations for BRCA screenings.

According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more women need to be assessed for the potentially deadly mutation of these genes, including women who are considered “cancer free” following a previous battle with one of the cancers associated with the BRCA gene: breast, ovarian, tubal, or peritoneal.

A previous report from 2013 only recommended women with a family history of these cancers be screened for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are important in the fight against cancer. When working normally, they can suppress tumors. But, if there is a mutation in those genes, it can actually raise a person’s risk for breast, ovarian, and other cancers.

The CDC says breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed. In 2016, approximately 245,000 new cases were diagnosed, along with about 20,000 cases of ovarian cancer.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5-10% of breast cancer and 10-15% of ovarian cancer are hereditary.

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