Oncology & Cancer

Localizing BRCA gene mutations to better treat ovarian cancer

Mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are inherited by 1 in 400 and 1 in 800 people respectively, significantly increase the risk of certain cancers such as ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer.

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary. Symptoms are frequently very subtle early on and may include: bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating and frequent urination, and are easily confused with other illnesses.

Most (more than 90%) ovarian cancers are classified as "epithelial" and are believed to arise from the surface (epithelium) of the ovary. However, some evidence suggests that the fallopian tube could also be the source of some ovarian cancers. Since the ovaries and tubes are closely related to each other, it is thought that these fallopian cancer cells can mimic ovarian cancer. Other types may arise from the egg cells (germ cell tumor) or supporting cells. These cancers are grouped into the category of gynecologic cancer.

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