A BRCA mutation -- which stands for breast cancer gene -- carrier is a patient who carries a particular mutation in a BRCA gene that increases their risk of developing breast cancer, especially before menopause. These mutations also increase the risk of ovarian and other cancer risks. There are two kinds of BRCA genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. There could be various different types of mutations in either gene causing cancer tendency and types of mutations may vary with ethnic background. These mutations can be inherited from either parent.
Ethnicity plays a significant role in what type of carrier a patient is. The ancestry associated with the highest percentage of BRCA1 carriers is the Ashkenazi Jewish. Caucasians account for approximately 3% of all BRCA carriers.
Dr. Oktay can work with you if you have BRCA mutations, using his specialized approaches so that you can maximize your present and future chances of fertility.
Currently, it’s not clear whether BRCA1/2 mutations impact your fertility. However, Dr. Oktay’s pioneering research showed that ovaries of women with BRCA mutations, especially those with BRCA1, may be aging faster. Now many researchers show that women with BRCA mutations have fewer eggs and experience early menopause. This means that women with BRCA mutations may have a shorter reproductive lifespan and may lose their fertility faster with age or when they receive cancer treatments.
Also, because women with BRCA mutations are especially at-risk for breast and ovarian cancers, they may lose their fertility due to cancer treatments and early removal of their ovaries. Patients who are BRCA1/2 carriers that are at a higher danger of being diagnosed can take proactive steps to ensure they can produce a child when they’re ready.
Through the use of cutting-edge technology, Dr. Oktay can freeze eggs, embryos, and ovarian tissues that patients can use once they're healthy enough or ready to start raising a family. Once he has determined what type of BRCA mutation that the patient has, Dr. Oktay can offer the necessary recommendations as to the kind of options would best suit their needs.
Being a carrier doesn’t necessarily mean the patient has cancer. It does mean, however, that you're at a higher risk than others for being diagnosed with breast cancer. If a patient is tested and it's determined that they’re a BRCA1/2 carrier, Dr. Oktay can identify possible options they can employ to protect their ability to produce a child.
Freezing eggs and ovarian tissues with cryopreservation techniques are possible options for BRCA1/2 carriers. Dr. Oktay is available to answer any questions you may have about both BRCA1/2 gene mutations and the options that are available to you.