New breast cancer gene identified

Written by Community Health Network on 8/14/2014 10:00:00 AM

New breast cancer gene identified A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine identified a new gene mutation, called PALB2, that could lead to breast cancer. Individuals with the gene had a 30 percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70. PALB2 is now the third gene mutation to be linked to breast cancer. The first two, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were identified in the 90s.

Having a gene mutation does not mean that you will develop breast cancer, but it does increase your cancer risk. Breast surgeons and oncologists work with genetic counselors to determine the level of risk and what can be done to minimize that risk. 

Patients who have family or medical history of cancer or other criteria below are good candidates for genetic counseling to help assess hereditary risk of cancer:

  • Breast cancer strikes those younger than age 50
  • Ovarian cancer at any age
  • Breast and ovarian cancer at any age
  • Two or more primary breast cancers at any age
  • Family history of multiple women in multiple generations with breast/ovarian cancer, especially including women with the traits outlined above
  • Individual in the family with a positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 test or other genetic risk factors
  • Male breast cancer at any age
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer
Community Cancer Care works closely with the Community Genetic Counseling Services to help patients navigate the results of their gene tests and make the right decisions for them. 

Schedule a gene test
Community offers gene testing and counseling at Community Hospitals North, South and East. Visit our website for hours and contact information.

Appointments available!

To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!



1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Could you be at risk? Learn more and find out if a prostate screening is right for you here.


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