BRCA Gene Mutations: A Closer Look

BRCA mutations are associated with a higher risk of developing cancer, but you may be wondering why. Let’s break it down.

Not real patients.

It starts with DNA

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DNA is hereditary material found in every cell in your body. Genes are specific segments of DNA that are the blueprints for proteins, which play many important roles in your body. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are among the many genes that you inherit from your parents.

The purpose of BRCA genes

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Everyone is born with BRCA genes. BRCA stands for BReast CAncer gene. Every day, your DNA gets damaged many times. Normally, BRCA genes prevent tumors from occurring by repairing damaged DNA. When DNA is damaged, healthy BRCA genes will create proteins that help repair the DNA damage. This process helps maintain the stability of your cells. Cells that can't repair breaks in the DNA will die.


BRCA mutations

When you have a BRCA mutation, your BRCA genes may not be able to create proteins to properly repair damaged DNA. So, the cells have to use different proteins to repair the DNA breaks, which can lead to more mutations that may help a damaged cell grow and divide to form a tumor.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far about BRCA:

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Healthy BRCA genes create proteins that repair DNA damage. This process helps prevent tumors from developing

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When BRCA genes are mutated, they may not be able to fix DNA damage

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Cells with DNA damage that continue to grow and divide may result in cancer

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This means that having a BRCA mutation could increase your risk of developing cancer


Knowing your BRCA status could be life-changing.

How genes impact your risk

BRCA Mutation Information

Not real patients.

BRCA mutations put you at an increased risk of developing certain cancers. However, there are other genes that can also impact your risk of developing diseases.

If you want information about BRCA mutations to take with you to your next doctor’s appointment, download the BRCA Guide.