Some breast cancers which cluster in families have inherited mutations in certain genes. If you have family members with breast and/or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest you seek genetic counseling and possible testing to look for mutations in these genes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most important known genes with mutations that are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. When normal, these genes help repair damaged DNA. When they are mutated, however, the likelihood increases of you developing breast and/or ovarian cancer during your lifetime. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 can be inherited from a mother or father. A genetic counselor will provide you with the information you need to decide the best course of action to treat the disease if you have any of these mutations.

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