Well first of all, all cancers are considered a genetic disease. We have for years looked to increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy and to make them safer, decrease the toxicity, and less toxic as well as more cancer-cell specific: thus-TARGETED THERAPY. A cancer specific treatment would therefore then treat only affect cancer cells. These cells are similar to normal cells so how do we tell the difference? We look at the human genome ( the basic DNA blueprint of all human cells). Today cancer is considered a genetic and molecular disease. Any given cell has thousands of genes and this code defines the cell's structure. It may be a very small amount of those genes that go wrong or mutate and changing a normal cell into a cancer cell. If we can find those cells, we then can target them and treat only the cancer cells. We are aware that there is a relationship between estrogen and breast cancer and it is a stimulant to that type of cancer cell. We look at these cells to determine block it and prevent its effect towards cancer. Now looking at genetics as part of this we can look at those individuals that are at high risk for breast/ovarian cancer. A genetic counselor will look at the family history and interpret the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes. This helps to define the general risk factors and determine the lifetime risk of developing this cancer. This then means that we may be able to diagnose women before the development of the cancer but it is also valuable to understand the risk of the cancer, the availability of therapy for cancer, and post testing counseling in making an informed determination after receiving the results of the genetic testing. This may mean more vigilant testing, and possibly a more definitive intervention as possible a preemptive strike before the cancer develops.
Myself, I did have the BRCA testing and have found that mine is not a hereditary cancer. That is good news for my family but it doesn't totally give my family members a free pass, they must still do routine testing and be observant and responsible in monitoring their health.
Make it a