Following the genomic localization and subsequent identification of the breast cancer susceptibility genes, and , the basic patterns of cancer risk associated with mutations in these genes have been defined. In addition, preliminary insights into the prevalence of mutations and their contributions to cancer incidence have been acquired. Features of breast and other cancers that develop in these genetic syndromes have now been investigated and shown to differ from sporadic versions of the same neoplasms. However, several areas are complex and require further clarification. There remain discrepancies between published cancer risk estimates. Furthermore, there may be variation in cancer risk between different mutations in the same gene and there is preliminary evidence that genetic and nongenetic influences may modify risks. Finally, it is probable that the genes underlying a substantial component of susceptibility to breast cancer remain to be identified.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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