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What’s the difference between hereditary breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer?

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HER2 gene defects, known as “mutations,” develop sometime during your life. Researchers aren’t sure exactly what causes these mistakes to happen.

There are other kinds of mutations linked to breast cancer that you can inherit from your parents. If this happens, it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop breast cancer. But your chances of developing the disease are greater.

Hereditary breast cancer only makes up about 5% to 10% of cases. You can find out if you have a hereditary form of breast cancer with genetic testing.

Researchers have identified more than 110 genes associated with breast cancer. Some of the most well-known of these are BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 mutations.

People with HER2-positive breast cancer seldom have a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Breast Cancer HER2 Status,” ”Breast Biopsy.”

Mayo Clinic: “HER2+ breast cancer: What is it?”

Breastcancer.org: “HER2 Status,” “Genetic Testing,” “Researchers Identify 110 Genes Associated With Breast Cancer,” “What to Do if Your Genetic Test Results Are Positive.” 

Moffitt Cancer Center: “What Causes HER2 Positive Breast Cancer?”

Canadian Cancer Society: “HER2 status test.”

Medline Plus: “HER2 (Breast Cancer) Testing.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on June 01, 2020

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Breast Cancer HER2 Status,” ”Breast Biopsy.”

Mayo Clinic: “HER2+ breast cancer: What is it?”

Breastcancer.org: “HER2 Status,” “Genetic Testing,” “Researchers Identify 110 Genes Associated With Breast Cancer,” “What to Do if Your Genetic Test Results Are Positive.” 

Moffitt Cancer Center: “What Causes HER2 Positive Breast Cancer?”

Canadian Cancer Society: “HER2 status test.”

Medline Plus: “HER2 (Breast Cancer) Testing.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on June 01, 2020

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What are HER2-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers?

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