IBreast cancer is the form of cancer more frequent in the female population. The National Institute of Health estimates that in Italy in 2020 have been diagnosed approx 55,000 new cases. One out of nine Italian women, therefore, has the theoretical probability, over a lifetime, of being affected. In addition to the diagnostic testsfor some years, to improve prevention and reduce the risk, it is also possible to resort to the analysis of mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, to verify the existence of one genetic predisposition to the development of breast and ovarian cancers. After Angelina Joliealso the super supermodel Bianca Baltiresult positive for the mutationdecided to undergo a preventive mastectomy. But when is such an impacting operation on a woman’s body and psyche indicated?
BRCA mutations in Italy
According to what is reported by theISS: “in Italy over 600 families have been up to now analyzed for BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutationsfor a total of over a thousand subjects. Between these, more than two hundred have already been identified as mutation carriers high risk (about 150 for BRCA1 and 55 for BRCA2). These numbers are intended to increase rapidly, as has already happened in other countries. It is currently estimated that for female carriers of BRCA1 mutations pathogenic factors, the probability of developing breast cancer is about 20% before age 40increases to values between 30 and 60% within 50 yearsuntil the 65-85% by age 70 (with an overall 50% additional risk of developing ovarian cancer over a lifetime). Even in the case of mutations BRCA2 the risk of CM (breast cancer) is estimated to reach levels of80% in the lifetime”.
Breast cancer: know your risk
«To establish the genetic risk is a simple blood draw. The process starts with one genetic visit. The geneticist analyzes thepersonal and family history and decides, according to the regional guidelinesif the patient can undergo genetic testing at the expense of the National Health Service. The exam is preceded by a interview with the psychologist. If instead, according to the guidelines, the exam for that patient is not loanable, the choice is up to you: you can decide to do not do it or undergo the genetic test privately. When was it introduced the test in Italy it cost about 3000 euros. Today the Lombardy regionfor example, recognizes around 1300 euros» explains the Doctor Paola Martinonibreast surgeon, founder of theDragonfly Association Onlus.
Breast cancer: keep an eye out for familiarity
«It must be emphasized that be negative on the testi.e. the mutation for the genes we now know, does not protect the patient from hereditary risk. Those who have seen get sick Motherhave to undergo tighter controls compared to the unfamiliar. In these cases, the right diagnostics includes the mammography every year from the age of 40 and aultrasound every 6 monthsthe latter already starting from 25 years old. The woman genetically mutatedinstead, will add an MRI every year and mammography after the age of 40», advises the expert.
Contact a breast specialist
“Every woman should consult a breast specialist to have a personalized procedure. If it presents a genetic mutation or hereditary factorsit’s good that you start since the age of 25 to undergo breast examination and ultrasound. The latter is indispensable, since also the hand of the breast specialist best in the world it cannot replace the ultrasound.
It should also be emphasized that you don’t have to rely only on self-examination: when you feel a nodule to the touch, it means that it already exceeds a centimeter and there will be a greater probability of being subjected to chemo», underlines Dr. Martinoni.
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