Celebration Obgyn: Cancer
If you have cancer or are close to someone who does, knowing what to expect can help you cope. Here you can find out all about the different types of cancer, its symptoms, and how it is treated.
Dr. Marcantel has served in many leadership roles, including Section Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of Clinical Services at Advent Health Celebration.
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in a woman’s reproductive organs, it is called gynecologic cancer.
Our Skilled Medical Team can help you navigate Gynecological Cancers as well as Breast Cancer.
What are BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are tumor suppressor genes, which means that they keep cells from growing too rapidly. Everyone has these genes. Changes or mutations in these genes mean they do not work properly and cells can grow out of control, which can lead to cancer.
How much do BRCA mutations increase the risk of cancer?
The risk of breast cancer for the average American woman is about 12% in her lifetime. Having a BRCA mutation greatly increases the risk. The estimated risk of breast cancer in women with a BRCA mutation is 45–85% by age 70 years.
The risk of ovarian cancer for the average American woman is about 2% in her lifetime. The estimated risk of ovarian cancer in women with a BRCA1 mutation is 39–46% by age 70 years. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk of ovarian cancer by age 70 years is 10–27%.
Women who have a BRCA mutation also have an increased risk of cancer of the fallopian tube, peritoneum, pancreas, and skin (melanoma). Men who have a BRCA mutation have an increased risk of cancer of the breast, prostate, and pancreas.
Why don’t doctors test everyone for BRCA mutations?
BRCA testing is only recommended for people with a high risk of having BRCA mutations. It is important to remember that most cases of breast and ovarian cancer are not caused by gene mutations. If there is a low chance of finding a BRCA mutation, your ob-gyn or other health care professional may not recommend genetic testing.
What is multigene panel testing?
Multigene panel testing is a type of genetic testing that looks for mutations in several genes at once. This is different from single-gene testing, which looks for a mutation in a specific gene. Single-gene testing is often used when a known gene mutation is already in a family. You may consider genetic testing if your personal or family history shows an increased cancer risk.
How can I prevent cancer if I test positive for a gene mutation?
If you test positive for a gene mutation, you can discuss cancer screening and prevention options with your ob-gyn, genetic counselor, or other healthcare professionals. It may be helpful to have earlier or more frequent cancer screening tests to find cancer at an early and more curable stage. Risk reduction steps like medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes also may be recommended.
If I have a gene mutation, should I tell my family?
Having a gene mutation means you can pass the mutation to your children. Your siblings also may have the gene mutation. Although you do not have to tell your family members, sharing the information could be life-saving. With this information, your family members can decide whether to be tested and get cancer screenings early.
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