We are a voluntary organisation in NI helping people to access information and support about BRCA genetic mutations whilst raising awareness of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
We work in co-operation with breast cancer researchers at Queen's University Belfast. In addition we are linked to hospital based programs in cancer genetics, oncology, surgery, gynaecology and plastic and reconstructive surgery, to assist in giving carriers the information and support they need to make an informed decision about their health.
What are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes?
Female BRCA2 carriers have a 50%-80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime and 10% - 20% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. These faulty genes have a 50% chance of being passed on to children of a carrier, male or female.
The BRCA genes when working correctly prevent breast tumours from forming by making a protein that regulates the growth and division of the cells which line the milk ducts in your breast.
If BRCA1 is mutated the protein that it makes is unable to regulate cell division, leaving your breast cells susceptible to the growth of cancer.