CHEK2 genetic mutation might increase the risk of cancer Lifestyles

DEAR DR. ROACH: My almost-42-year-old daughter was informed today by her gynecologist that she has two CHEK2 genetic mutations. She has always been healthy. She and her husband have three young children, so my daughter is rather concerned. This revelation came during an otherwise routine visit with her gynecologist. Do you have any statistics on how many women with this genetic mutation actually develop breast or colon cancer? – BRH

ANSWER: CHEK2 is a gene that makes a protein called checkpoint kinase 2, which is a DNA-repair protein. If that protein doesn’t work properly when a genetic mutation occurs, people can be at higher risk for developing cancers. Only a few mutations are known to be associated with an increased risk of breast or colon cancer.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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