Breast Cancer : A Malignant Neoplasm Essay

737 Words Oct 5th, 2015 3 Pages
Breast cancer is a malignant neoplasm that is located within the cells of the breast. Normally, cells divide to grow, repair, and replace other cells. This cell division is controlled by DNA within the nucleus of every cell. However, when cells in the body start to grow out of control, cancer begins. A variety of factors, both genetic and environmental, may disrupt growth of regulatory pathways and result in the development of cancer. Major factors taken into consideration for breast cancer risk include “family history, lifestyle risk factors, previous biopsies, and breast density” (Mayo Clinic, 2015, pg. 2). In the past few decades, scientists have looked at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for inheritance of a genetic mutation on one or both genes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are caretaker genes which function as tumor suppressor genes and are responsible for repairing DNA. When harmful mutations are found on one of these genes, the cell may no longer suppress tumor growth causing the cell to multiply out of control (Hubert & VanMeter, 2014, 557). However, harmful mutations on these genes are “rare and account for less than five percent of all breast cancers” (Mayo Clinic, 2015, pg. 1). Recently, scientists have started incorporating a combination of SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms, in hopes to help better predict risk for breast cancer. Single nucleotide polymorphisms are simply a difference in a single base pair within a DNA sequence. Typically, in all people, the…

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