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Definition of «Susceptibility genes, breast cancer»

Susceptibility genes, breast cancer: Inherited factors that predispose to breast cancer. Put otherwise, these genes make one more susceptible to the disease and so increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Several breast cancer susceptibility genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been identified and prominently publicized. A number of more obscure genes -- including those for the Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden disease, Muir-Torre syndrome, and ataxia- telangiectasia -- are also thought to predispose to cancer of the breast. However, since all of these known breast cancer susceptibility genes together do not account for more than a minor fraction (1/5th at most) of breast cancer that clusters in families, it is clear that more breast cancer genes remain to be discovered.

See related entries to: BRCA1, BRCA2, and Familial breast cancer.

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