We’re breaking down 3 misconceptions about BRCA gene mutations with Bright Pink’s founder, Lindsay Avner and our friends over at Outcome Health.
- Misconception #1: The BRCA gene is only relevant to women.
This is false. Both men and women have BRCA genes. And since we get 50% of our genes from our mom and 50% from our dad, not only can the men in our life possess a genetic mutation in the BRCA gene, but they can also pass it on to their children. So when you’re collecting your family health history, don’t forget about Dad! It’s just as important to pay attention to your father’s side of the family history as your mother’s side because they both influence our breast and ovarian cancer risk equally.
- Misconception #2: BReast CAncer susceptibility (BRCA) gene mutations are only associated with breast cancer.
This is not true. Despite the name, the BRCA gene mutation is not only associated with breast cancer. Breast cancer affects about 1 in 8 women; making it the most common cancer diagnosis in women in the United States and ovarian cancer affects about 1 in 75 women. Women with a genetic mutation linked to breast and/or ovarian cancer are at much higher risk of developing these diseases at an earlier age than women born with a normal set of genes. Ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and male breast cancer–are just some of the other diseases to be paying attention to if you carry a BRCA genetic mutation.
- Misconception #3: Only Jewish people can have a BRCA gene mutation.
This is incorrect. If you’re Ashkenazi Jewish you have a 1 in 40 chance of having a BRCA gene mutation compared to the general population where there’s a 1 in 400 chance. So while it may be less prevalent, it still is carried amongst the general population, only further emphasizing the need for Bright Pink’s work empowering all women throughout the US to personalize their approaches to breast and ovarian cancer risk assessment and proactive management.
Watch the video here:
For more information visit ExploreYourGenetics.org!
This video was produced by Outcome Health. The opinions or claims expressed here do not represent Outcome Health.