Doctors study gene mutations to detect breast cancer

University Health System offering free breast exams

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SAN ANTONIO - Doctors say one in eight women will likely develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Over the years, research has shown that genetics can play a large role in whether a person is predisposed to the disease.

Some gene mutations, like the BRCA 1 and 2, can increase a woman’s risk by 80 percent. Recently, doctors have found several other additional genes that also carry risks for developing cancer.

“There’s a lot of these genes, probably 50-100 genes, but the ones that we focus on are eight genes that increase the risk of developing breast cancer by around 30 percent or more,” said Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, leader of the Breast Cancer Program at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center. “And the reason we focus on that is because that’s where (we) help women prevent breast cancer, detect it early.”

Doctors say it’s easier to prevent than to treat cancer. That’s why they suggest patients provide them with a detailed family medical history. 

KSAT Community in conjunction with University Health System, is offering free breast exams over the next several weeks. For more information on screening locations, visit this link.

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