BRCA1 is a gene on chromosome 17 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. However, a person who inherits an altered version of the BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer. While only 5 to 10 percent of all breast and ovarian cancers are caused by genetics, these rare cases typically result from inherited mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

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Pankow JS, Vachon CM, Kuni CC, et al.: Genetic analysis of mammographic breast density in adult women: evidence of a gene effect. J Natl Cancer Inst 89 (8): 549-56, 1997. National Cancer Institute Website, accessed 4/12/06, Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah Website, accessed 4/12/06,

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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