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creatinghope PREV ENTION • RESE A RCH • INNOVATION SEPTEMBER 2013 Managing cancer risk through testing, genetic counseling B Y M A RY VA N D E V E I R E C harlene Cunningham isn’t giving breast cancer a chance. Two of Charlene’s great-aunts died of breast cancer, her grandmother died of ovarian cancer, two aunts are breast and ovarian cancer survivors, and a second-cousin has been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer more than once. As Charlene says, “Cancer has been lurking over my shoulder my entire life.” Charlene, 40, and her sisters and cousins were tested for breast cancer risk, and 16 of the 20, including Charlene and three sisters, tested positive for the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA. About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer is hereditary, often caused by a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Risk increases in families with cases of breast cancer and cases of both breast and ovarian cancer. GENE TESTING 2  INSIDE 3 Scare off cancer with nutrition and exercise 4 Genetics and family history: Predisposed to cancer? 6 What makes cruciferous vegetables ‘super veggies?’

Banner MD Anderson Creating Hope-Fall 2013

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