The association of germline mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) and the breast cancer susceptibility gene 2 (BRCA2) with the development of breast and ovarian cancers have been widely researched and recognised.
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It is known that these genes function at multiple sites in the body. Research has subsequently evolved into the connection of BRCA1/2 with cancers at other sites within the body. This review examines the association of BRCA1/2 germline gene mutations with prostate, pancreatic and stomach cancers. An extensive literature search revealed conflicting findings regarding the association of BRCA1/2 gene mutations with these cancers.
Most studies suggest that there is an association between BRCA1/2 mutations and carcinoma of the prostate, pancreas and stomach, but some reports propose that such a correlation may be due to factors other than possessing a mutated BRCA1/2 gene, and other associations may be revealed as further epidemiological information becomes available.
The review concludes that as more knowledge arises about the mechanisms of BRCA1/2 gene mutations, it should pave the way for future screening programmes to be applied effectively.
Hered Cancer Clin Pract. 2015 Aug 1;13(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s13053-015-0038-x. eCollection 2015.
Cavanagh H1, Rogers KM1.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7BL N. Ireland.