About 13 percent of women in the United States will develop breast cancer, with over 230,000 breast cancer cases being diagnosed this year alone. Out of that group, around five percent have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Knowing your family history is the first step in the detection of breast cancer. At-risk families can take blood tests to screen for mutations in these genes. However, genetic testing is done only when definitely indicated by a strong personal or family history.
To reduce your chance of developing breast cancer when BRCA1 gene mutation is present is to have elective double mastectomy. Although this does not completely eliminate your risk for developing breast cancer, it greatly reduces your chances. This is a very difficult decision to make and one that requires a lot of research and discussion with your doctor. Other action such as regular breast screenings and watchful waiting may be elected. It is important to note, not all women with a BRCA genes will develop breast cancer.
Join us for the “Genetics of Breast Cancer” health talk and have the opportunity to ask your specific questions about breast cancer to Genomic Medicine Institute Department Chair Charis Eng, MD, PhD and Cleveland Clinic Breast Surgeon Michael Cowher, MD.
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, is the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis endowed Chairwoman and founding director of the Genomic Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic and American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Cancer Research. Dr. Eng is the founding director and attending clinical cancer geneticist of the Genomic Medicine Institute's clinical component, the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare. She is also Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Genetics and Genome Science at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Dr. Eng holds a joint appointment as Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and is a full staff member of Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Center and of the CASE Comprehensive Cancer Center. She continues to hold an honorary appointment at the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Eng completed a fellowship in medical oncology at both Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, in Boston, as well as a fellowship in clinical cancer genetics at University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Her internal medicine residency was completed at Beth Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. She completed medical school and earned a doctorate at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Dr. Eng was formally trained in clinical cancer genetics and laboratory-based human cancer genetics at the University of Cambridge School of Medicine and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Michael Cowher, MD, received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio in 2004. He completed his residency in general surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA., and his fellowship in breast surgery at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since 2011, Dr. Cowher has been Associate Staff in the breast center and is also the Quality Improvement Officer of Breast Services at Cleveland Clinic. Throughout his medical education, Dr. Cowher has received many awards for his research and has been recognized by both professional colleagues and patients for his excellent care.
To make an appointment with Michael Cowher, MD or any of the specialists in the Breast Center at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.444.3024. You can also visit us online at www.clevelandclinic.org/breastcenter
To make an appointment with Charis Eng, MD, PhD, or any of the specialists in the Genomic Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.636.1768 or 800.998.4785 (toll-free). You can also visit us online at www.clevelandclinic.org/genetics
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