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Genetic Mutations Can Increase Risk Of Contracting Cancer [AUDIO]

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On Wednesday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News, Damini Dasai from the Joe Arrington Cancer Center talked with Tom Collins and Laura Mac about how genetics can actually increase the odds of cancer.

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BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that normally serve to suppress tumors and help protect the body against cancer. But in some people, the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes are mutated, resulting in a greatly increased risk for cancer, particularly breast cancer.

Dasai said the risk of contracting cancer with the mutation is increased as much as 78%, and that both men and women can inherit these mutations. However, she added that the mutation only affects less than 1% of the population, and that having the mutation does not automatically mean you’ll get cancer, only that you’re at a higher risk for it.

Early detection of the gene is vital to increasing a person’s odds of fighting cancer. Dasai explained that the testing is very non-intrusive, requiring nothing more than blood draw or a mouth swab. In addition, she added that although the test itself can cost around $4,000, most insurance companies will cover the cost up to at least 80%.

For more information on genetic testing and counseling, call the Joe Arrington Cancer Center at 806-725-5101 to set up an appointment, or visit their website at

Be sure and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac weekdays from 6 AM to 8:30 AM on NewsTalk 790 KFYO and online at

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