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Men can pass the BRCA gene to their children

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    Posted: Sep 28 2020 at 12:39pm
Dear all,

Why is that important for the TNBC Foundation forum? 

To explain I would like to share the following youtube I did about 8 years ago for an organization called Genetic Alliance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQrQMY2w05k

There is a incorrect feeling, with many, that a breast cancer genetic mutation can be 
'passed' only from mother to daughter. I am living proof that the genetic mutation can be passed from mother (or father) to a daughter or son and that child can in turn pass this mutation on to her/his child whether female or male.

There is also an incorrect belief among many and all too many oncologists that even if men have the BRCA mutation it will not be harmful for them. It is true that the odds of men e.g. getting breast cancer are substantially lower than women the risks are there.
And men may also be at higher risk for prostate and pancreatic cancer as well as 
melanoma. 

In my 16 years as a patient I have seen all kinds of situations that fly in the face of statistics- 

I have six children and statistically there was a 50-50% chance that my children would carry the BRCA mutation I have. I have four children who are negative and two are positive. I have seen families with five girls all positive and five girls all negative.

My take away message is to speak to a Certified Genetic Counselor who can explain everything to you. 

with my love to all here,

Steve




I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 28 2020 at 12:41pm
p.s. 70% of all BRCA+ women who have the mutation and get breast cancer have TNBC.

The converse is not true 70% of women with TNBC are not BRCA+.
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 28 2020 at 1:34pm
Some further thoughts on this topic. 

The BRCA mutation is often 'hidden' on the paternal side. Most women with the BRCA mutation often develop breast and/or ovarian cancer before the age of 65. Many have early onset disease <45 with many, many women having breast and/or ovarian cancer in their 30's with breast cancer at times in their 20's.

Men on the other hand may not develop cancer and die of something else. 

I am 76 years old and as far as I know, at this moment, do not have cancer. Not too many BRCA+ women can make that statement. But the risks are there for me and I am doing surveillance. Importantly the BRCA mutation does not skip generations.

e.g. 4 of my children tested BRCA- negative even though I have the mutation. None of their children can have the BRCA+ mutation I have. It is possible, but unlikely, that my wife could carry a BRCA mutation but she is 68 years old with no breast or ovarian cancer. And no profound family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Many studies have shown that BRCA+ women are at greater risk for getting ovarian cancer in their late 30's so it is important to speak to a gynecologic oncologist about doing surveillance if they suggest. The problem is that unlike mammograms and Breast MRIs there is still, as far as I know, no accurate test for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Most (80%) ovarian cancer is first diagnosed as Stage III/IV disease which is a problem.

with my love to all here,

Steve

 


I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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