Breast Cancer News of Note: Genes and Breast Cancer

September 12, 2023

Disclaimer statement: The information and resources contained within this document are for educational purposes only. Please make sure to discuss any resources with the Here for the Girls Team. This information should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in lieu of care from a licensed physician or mental health practitioner. Although the content of the resources has been reviewed by the Here for the Girls Team, you should use caution whenever accessing or referring to information from outside sources, including the Internet.

Here for the Girls aims to share the latest updates in breast cancer research and news for educational purposes. A study published by Nature Genetics researched 244, 041 women participants to examine if certain genes show a correlation to breast cancer. Currently, the genes BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 are the most commonly tested genes to assess for risk of breast cancer (Lennon, 2023). The new findings suggested there are 30 genes linked to breast cancer and increased to 40 genes when the participants age was controlled to under 50 years old. The genes identified were marked as rare but included the gene MAP3K1 which has not previously been found. With the identification of new genes potentially being linked to breast cancer. Dr. Jacques Simard, however, reassured that the new genes are rare but are considered to be high risk for individuals who have the genes (2023). The findings indicate that more extensive research has to be done to further examine the correlations of the 40 new genes and breast cancer risk. If you would like to read the published research article, you can access it here. The American Cancer Society (2021) recommends that individuals consult with their physicians about genetic counseling should they be concerned or have questions. Genetic testing is done when an individual provides a blood or saliva sample that is sent to a lab where the results will be examined for genes that are high-risk for breast cancer. American Cancer Society (2021) provided guidance on reading your genetic testing result with the following information:

Positive for a mutation that was tested for. If the test does find an important mutation, there might be steps you can take to help lower your risk of breast cancer (or other cancers). If you’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer, a positive result might affect your breast cancer treatment options.

Negative for the mutation(s) tested for. It can be reassuring to find out that the test didn’t find a mutation that increases your risk. But it’s important to know that genetic test results can’t always guarantee that you’re not at increased risk. For instance, there might be a chance that you have a gene change that is not currently being tested for.

Inconclusive. In some cases, the test might not be able to tell for sure if you have a gene mutation.

Positive for a variant of unknown significance (VUS). This means that the test found a gene change (variant), but it’s not known if this particular change affects your risk.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to


American Cancer Society. (2021, December 16). Genetic counseling and testing for breast cancer risk. Retrieved from

Lennon, A. (2023, August 23). Researchers identify new genes linked to breast cancer. Medical News Today. Retrieved from



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