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Archive for the ‘Genes’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information” Thanks in advance for your support!

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As noted last week, OCTOBER is breast cancer awareness month. I would like to continue on a series of blog to answer questions asked by my readers. This week it is Genetics.

I have received questions regarding BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing for breast cancer from some of my readers.  They wanted to know about Genetics and who should get these available genetic testing?

I cannot begin to discuss BRCA1 without first dissecting the acronym…and then speaking a little bit to the basics of Genetics.

BRCA stands for BReast CAncer gene and BRAC1 and BRAC2 are susceptible genes. Confusing ugh? What exactly does all of that mean?

GENES:  What are Genes? This is a simple question, and I think there is a simple answer, but nothing beats visual! (Great reading materials on   Genetics and Cancer and be found HERE on the National Cancer Institute Website)

Click below to watch the video

Click below to watch video…

So now you have an understanding of just how complicated your make-up truly is, some would say, that it is a miracle that more things do not go wrong! A miracle indeed!

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENES AND CANCER?

cell-typesEverything goes back to our Genes … our DNA, our basic makeup. Cancer develops, when the orderly replication develops an “Error” and the cells “off switch” is left in the “on” position. How fast this “error” is perpetuated/grows depends on several factors, the most important is the type of cell (cell line).

SIMPLIFIED: Well, Ok Lord, help me keep it simple here…Hhhmm.  Let’s see. Everyone knows how to cook … ( I think:-) Let us use the example of preparing tea. So, If the intent is to boil water for tea,

  • 1st the water must be placed in the pot (error has occurred)
  • 2nd the stove must be lit (another error that causes further damage which is required for continued replication of damage)
  • 3rd the rate of heat (high, med, low) must be set … this would align with how fast the cancer grows; High heat, faster the water get to the boiling point (i.e., the faster the damaged cells will grow)
  • 4th … the water boils (cancer is manifested)

Please note: that the water can be placed in the pot (a DNA damage/error occurs) but if the stove is never turned on (other required cell changes) … then nothing happens and a person will not develop cancer (even though s/he has the susceptibility/damaged gene). This is an area of intense research – how can we stop the stove from being turned on (manipulate the process that causes the Cancer to manifest)!

If the above was a bit too basic, you may read a slightly more “Doctorese” version HERE! I aim to please **smile** (Any questions, please do ask!) You may also visit my website and watch video about the basics of Cancer HERE

COUNSELING:  Please discuss with your physician if you are at risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer. This is usually determined based on your family history, or personal history. Having this mutation is uncommon and responsible for ~10% of ovarian cancer and ~5% of all breast cancer diagnosis.

TESTING: The BRCA test is obtained via a blood test that looks at your DNA to identify any changes that are harmful, (also called mutations) in either of the two known breast cancer genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 1 and BReast CAncer gene 2). Females who inherited either BRCA1 or BRCA2 are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

Click Below to watch Video

linkage-analysisClick HERE to visit website for image above. More information available  about “susceptibility genes”

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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