Breast cancer can occur at any age.
It is estimated that breast cancer will remain the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2015. It is also estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with breast cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 16 (1 in 719 males and 1 in 8 females).1
- In 2011, there were 14,568 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Australia (103 males and 14,465 females).1
- In 2015, it is estimated that 15,740 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (145 males and 15,600 females).1
WHAT IS IT?
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow in an uncontrolled way.2 Like other cancers, breast cancer, is the result of changes (called mutations) to genes.
Both men and women can have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
- A woman’s risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a deleterious (harmful) BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
- Men with these mutations also have an increased risk of breast cancer - Men & Breast Cancer
Resources for breast cancer:
- The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare http://www.aihw.gov.au/cancer/breast/#fn1
- Cancer Australia, Freecall 1800 624 973 or http://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/
- Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 - a free confidential service.
- Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) www.bcna.org.au
WHAT IS THE BRCA GENE?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that belong to a class of genes known as tumour suppressors. Mutation of these genes has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2014. Cancer series no. 78. Cat. no. CAN 75. Canberra: AIHW.